Nothing major really striking my fancy, but there has been a smattering of interesting news on the library technology front in the last couple of weeks.
Some scholarly societies are launching something that is either a counter to or a target for Google Scholar. Scitopia.org will launch this summer and include 3 million articles from 13 scholarly societies. The jury has not even gathered yet since it’s only April and the site will not launch until June, so I am left only to complain at this point that I don’t have any great love for press releases that tell me something is coming in two months, but I cannot see it yet.
Nevertheless, the list of societies is impressive. The service looks to be similar to Elsevier’s Scirus and the CiteSeer search engine hosted by Penn State. All three have one of my web pet peeves in common—a URL that has to be spelled when spoken. No one has to spell Google, Amazon, or OCLC.
Making the World Smaller
Speaking of OCLC (no, no more jokes)…the collaborative has just announced a pilot for a scoped version of the WorldCat Catalog, dubbed “WorldCat Local.”
Through a locally branded interface, the service will provide libraries the ability to search the entire WorldCat database and present results beginning with items most accessible to the patron. These might include collections from the home library, collections shared in a consortium, and open access collections.
WorldCat Local will offer the same feature set as WorldCat.org, such as a single search box, relevancy ranking of search results, result sets that bring multiple versions of a work together under one record, faceted browse capability, citation formatting options, cover art, and additional evaluative content.
Worldcat Local can also be hooked up to resource sharing applications to facilitate reciprocal borrowing or interlibrary loan. Pilot partners include the University of Washington, the Peninsular Library System in California, and several libraries in Illinois.
With this, OCLC is one step closer to asking all libraries more seriously, “Who needs their own local OPAC?”
My NextGen Catalog
And this just in…Aquabrowser is adding personalization features to its catalog interface. Called My DiscoveriesTM, the new 2.0-ness allows for publishable resource lists, tagging, and the creation of personal profiles.
I think LibraryThing is getting more and more interesting, too. A sneak peek at Tim Spalding’s Computers in Libraries presentation is on his blog. Tim kindly stepped in for me at the last minute to co-present with Roy Tennant when I could not make it to CIL this year for the first time in several years (thanks, Tim!). I was already hearing great reviews of Tim’s Wednesday presentation before the day even ended, and I’m sure it was more refreshing than my ad nauseam attacks on public catalogs. It’s good to remember that facets, word clouds, and better relevance don’t make an online catalog “2.0” per se. The social aspects will be the clincher in that regard.
[This post originally appeared as part of American Libraries’ Hectic Pace Blog and is archived here.]