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Archive for the ‘Library Issues’ Category

Librarians Want to Out-Google Google

Posted by comartslibrarian on November 10, 2008

Wired Campus: Librarians Want to Out-Google Google With a Better Search Engine –

The idea is to cull and promote recommendations from tens of thousands of librarians around the world. No word on the technical architecture that would power the search engine.


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Video content coming to Newsbank database

Posted by comartslibrarian on October 16, 2008

NOTE to Students: Regent Library subscribes to Newsbank’s Access World News database

In response to the rising demand in libraries, NewsBank is adding video news content to our online news resources—at no additional charge to our customers. The complete package from respected media distributor Voxant includes the following sources: The Associated Press, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, local affiliates of ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox, as well as coverage from Canadian Broadcasting, Agence France-Presse and more. Your institution will have access to video clips from all or a select group of these sources, depending on your subscription.

Beginning on Monday, October 20, the videos clips will be added to NewsBank resources. Users will be able to:

• Play news videos within the NewsBank interface, in the same space used to display text articles

• Select specific videos from a comprehensive results lists that also includes NewsBank articles, or restrict their search to “video only”

• Access recent and archived news videos at your institution or remotely

• Email links of specific videos to friends, or embed them in a presentation

This new content will be added in stages. A short advertisement that can be immediately closed by users will appear prior to each video. Please note that a free Flash plug-in is required to play these videos. It can be downloaded at Your default settings will not be affected in any way.

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Maker of EndNote Citation Software Sues George Mason U.

Posted by comartslibrarian on September 29, 2008

Wired Campus: Maker of EndNote Citation Software Sues George Mason U.

Thomson Reuters Inc. sued George Mason University in a Virginia court this month, arguing that a free software tool made by the university makes improper use of the company’s EndNote citation software.

The company’s complaint argues that programmers at George Mason’s Center for History and New Media reverse-engineered EndNote to create a free program called Zotero. The university’s free software is a plug-in for the Firefox Web browser, and it is designed to help scholars store and organize their online research. It has been downloaded more than 1 million times.

Thomson Reuters argues that the latest release of George Mason’s software, which can import files created by EndNote and turn them into files that can be used and shared online using Zotero, “is willfully and intentionally destroying Thomson’s customer base for the EndNote software.” The company seeks $10-million in damages for each year the university has offered the software and to stop the university from distributing versions of Zotero that can convert EndNote files.

I’m a big fan of Zotero.  To me, this lawsuit is akin to Microsoft suing Mozilla (the makers of Firefox) for making a better web browser.   Considering that Zotero is a browser plug-in, and EndNote is a proprietary, stand-alone software application, this lawsuit is alleging some pretty fancy reverse-engineering.  A dubious claim in my view.

BTW — Zotero is free.  EndNote is $250.   Maybe if Thomson focused on improving its product, and cutting its absurd prices, it wouldn’t feel so threatened.  Just a thought…

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Google takes on Wikipedia

Posted by comartslibrarian on July 28, 2008

READ: Wikipedia, Meet Knol – NY Times

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