A colleague of mine likes to joke about something he calls “MetaMeetings” …meetings about meetings. Organizations (especially academic ones, it seems) like to have those. So I was wondering what a blog post about meta stuff should be called. There are many meta things happening out there.
EBSCO has announced that eight new publishers have added journal content to MetaPress, their electronic content management and hosting service. This got me thinking about institutional repositories, a topic I have been able to mostly avoid (beyond hating that horrible name). When I have turned my attention to it, I am always surprised at just how many commercial solutions are cropping up for repositories. Fodder for another post, perhaps.
Webfeat is making things hundreds of percent better with its “next generation federated search proxy.” How long is a generation in library technology, anyway? But seriously, this looks pretty neat because it preserves native interface features in the metasearch product. I’ve always been pretty firmly in the “good enough” camp of metasearch, but publishers and many librarians have been fighting hard to preserve branding (the content provider’s concern) and native interface features (the librarian’s concern). Ever the lover of irony, I revel in the fact that it took the introduction of metasearch for librarians to beatify publishers’ native interfaces.
Finally, lest we forget the valiant efforts of NISO’s Metasearch Initiative (disclosure: I was co chair of this group, along with Jenny Walker, now of XRefer). Many folks probably don’t realize the fruits of this group’s labor, and that the work actually still continues:
- An excellent document on authentication in a metasearch environment, published as an article by Mike Teets (OCLC) and Peter Murray (OhioLink) in D-Lib.
- Two draft standards for trial use on Collection and Service Description.
- An implementer’s guide to the NISO Metasearch XML Gateway (affectionately called MXG by the group), a lightweight alternative to Z39.50 for content providers. IndexData and Ex Libris have already successfully demonstrated the new gateway procedure.
[This post originally appeared as part of American Libraries’ Hectic Pace Blog and is archived here.]