Posts Tagged ‘hathi trust’

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LAWDI 3: Good Linking Practices for Bibliographic Stuff

June 13, 2012

While the following were informed by conversations and presentations at LAWDI, they should be considered my opinions only, and I welcome any (polite!) discussion of why my ideas are wrong-headed  in comments.

So, you’re a scholar putting up information online, and you don’t have the time or IT chops to start learning how to implement RDFa or learn a specialized linked open data vocabulary. The following are some ideas of things you can do that are linked open data friendly, with an emphasis on providing links to stable, authoritative, easy to use URLs. This post covers bibliographic items (secondary scholarship).

I want to emphasize that doing all this linking is work; it takes time. I’ve been trying to link more thoroughly in my blog posts about LAWDI, and it does add to the time burden of writing blog posts. I urge readers to strive to include more (good-quality) links in the things they post online, but please don’t feel guilty if you can’t do it all. Do what you can; every bit is a piece toward our common goals.

Books

  • Link to a WorldCat record using the OCLC number. Permalink URLS are linkable from records and can be created using the format http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/37663433 .
    WorldCat is my top choice because 1) it welcomes links, 2) it’s the largest and most international open linkable library catalog. Note: sometimes if you look a book up by title you’ll find multiple OCLC records with multiple OCLC numbers, even though you’re looking at the same book, not even different editions. OCLC and its members are probably working to tidy this sort of thing and merge (or at least cross-reference) duplicate records. For now, pick the one that has the largest number of libraries showing in the list in your home/target country (there will often be one US record and one European record, for example.)
  • Link to the US Library of Congress using an LCCN (Library of Congress Call Number).  Permalink URLS are shown in records and can be created using the format http://lccn.loc.gov/97040652 (useful, since many books have the LCCN in print on the inside.)
    Using the Library of Congress is a fine choice; it’s my second choice because it is US-centric (while WorldCat is working on becoming more international) and the Library of Congress records don’t have the enhancements that WorldCat records do (ability to display holdings in libraries near you, ability to provide a link to online booksellers, etc.)
  • I would not bother linking to, for example, Amazon using an ISBN. WorldCat links using OCLC are more useful in my opinion, and as easy to create.
  • Including the ISBN in a citation can be useful; there are some great browser plug-ins that can identify ISBNs in web pages and link users to libraries or online booksellers (for example, LibX or Book Burro).

Digital Books

  • If a book is available in an open-access digital edition, by all means include a link to that, preferably in addition to a link to a WorldCat record for the print edition. For open-access digital books you have two strong choices, neither the clear winner yet in my opinion.
  • Link to the Open Library record. URLs look like this: http://openlibrary.org/books/OL6907393M
    Open Library is the more linked data friendly solution; each record can be downloaded in RDF and JSON. Records also include linked OCLC numbers and LCCNs. The full-text books can be downloaded in a bunch of different formats, from .pdf to MOBI, and also also readable online.  Open Library is part of the Internet Archive, and is a “born-open” project. They currently only have about 1 million open-access books, though, and their records aren’t as scholar-friendly – they don’t have all the features of  library catalog records (though they are based on them.)
  • Link to the Hathi Trust record. URLs look like this: http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/001220795
    Hathi Trust’s records have library-provided bibliographic data and they have a large collection (3 million plus) of open-access volumes (as well as many more digital volumes not open-access; availability of formats can also be an issue). They are backed by a bunch of big academic libraries and are likely to stick around. They have an API, but are not as linked-data friendly as Open Library.
  • I would not bother linking to a Google Books record unless you can’t find a match at either of the previous places. Google Books has great content, but their metadata is lacking, and they are a for-profit company who cannot guarantee a future commitment to free open-access products.

Book Chapters

  • For print-only book chapters, right now you’d do best to link to the whole book.
  • Ditto for book chapters available in full-text digitally, unless you can track down .pdfs at the author’s web site or academia.edu, for example.

Journal Articles

  • Link to the DOI of the article – a long unique number appended in even print citations – using the format http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1469605309338428 . Participating publishers have committed to maintaining access to articles via DOIs in perpetuity, even as their online platforms may change. (Remember, though, a lot of the articles are available by subscription only; many who follow the link will get an abstract but not full-text if their institution does not subscribe.)
  • Available digitally but doesn’t have a DOI? Look for a stable URL or permalink at the page with the article citation. Jstor does a good job with these (http://www.jstor.org/stable/3182036) but so do many other large commercial article databases.
  • Available digitally but not directly linkable? (This might be the case with an article published in a 19th century journal that has been digitized by the volume, but without the individual articles indexed, or an online-only journal with poor linkability.)  Link to the record for the journal in a repository like Hathi Trust or Open Library (above), or to the home page of the online journal, if articles cannot be directly linked.
  • Print-only? (Lots of journal articles still are, especially older, smaller, or foreign ones). Link to the WorldCat record for the whole journal, using the OCLC number or ISSN if there is one: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/18999240 .

Questions? Quibbles? Cases I missed? Ask in comments.

Previous posts here on LAWDI:

Collection of blog posts and other  resources from LAWDI:

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Hathi Trust Public Collections for Classics

April 5, 2011

After yesterday’s post on e-books for classics I started working with the Hathi Trust website more closely.  It looks like right now you can only download full .pdf files if you are affiliated with a member institution (list here).  I swear that everyone used to be able to download full .pdf files!  Ah well – everyone can read books online, and the online viewer is pretty nice.  “Guests” like me can create “public collections” of works, so I started playing around and started to build a public collection of full-text works on Greek Archaeology. I was happy to find several out-of-print but in-copyright volumes from the Athenian Agora and Corinth series that seem to have been released for public use (i.e. Alice Stilwell’s Corinth Potter’s Quarter Terracottas.) This is a really valuable service to the scholarly community, and the authors/publisher are to be commended for this decision.

To build your own public collection, sign in (or sign up for a Guest account) and then follow the directions to Build a Collection.

Other existing Public Collections of works relevant to Classics:

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E-Books for Learning Greek

April 4, 2011

I have started looking more seriously at texts for elementary Greek that can be used on the Kindle (and/or other e-book readers), in advance of a possible trial in a class this summer.  Here’s a list of resources I have found useful – do you have any to add? The following include texts available in Kindle format, and texts available as .pdfs – most e-book readers can deal with simply-formatted .pdf files, although their treatment of footnotes or multi-column pages can be, frankly, terrible. I have NOT included online-only texts (as at Perseus, TLG, etc.)

Hathi Trust

  • A scholarly e-book repository, it includes most out-of-copyright works (pre-1923) digitized by Google Books, plus additional titles post-1923 where Hathi staff have worked with publishers and authors to make works available to the public.
  • Search interface is very much like a library online catalog, so it’s easier to find a known title than when searching Google Books.
  • Note one can create a free account and make lists (“public collections“) of texts.  It would be useful to have such a list for important classical works, no?  Maybe in my copious free time (or yours).

Google Books

  • An alphabetical list of works selected by Crane and Babeu – Google Books Ancient Greek and Latin Texts Available as downloadable .pdf files.
  • Ditto, but US-access only. Requires a Google account to log in, and you must be in the US.
  • You can also search Google Books for specific titles, but good luck getting what you want in the first page of results – I’d try Hathi Trust first, myself, as the search interface is more sophisticated.

TextKit

  • Requires creation of an account (free), after which one can download .pdf files.
  • Includes out-of-copyright texts – this site dates to 2001, so the texts were hand-scanned before the advent of Google Books.
  • Greek texts library. There’s also Latin.

Downloebables

  • Best website name ever? Links to downloadable .pdf versions of out-of-copyright editions from the Loeb Classical Libraries.

Project Gutenberg

For purchase at Amazon (prices listed – they are generally modest).

One problem I have run into is that the Kindle cannot convert any documents larger than 25MB, and many .pdf files are larger than this.  The solution is to use Adobe Acrobat and break up the .pdf files into smaller units, which requires a) possession of Adobe Acrobat (the production software, not just the reader) and b) more work on the user end – a lexicon that’s divided into several chunks alphabetically is not as easy to use.

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Open Access Week for Classicists

October 21, 2010

The 4th annual Open Access Week is October 18-24, 2010. What does it mean for a classicist?

Open access resources are those that are available to all online, without the payment of a subscription by a university library or department or individual.  For many students and faculty based at large research institutions in the United States, it is easy to take access to appropriate scholarly resources  for granted.  Many undergraduates  I work with are surprised to discover that the UGA library pays for access to Jstor.  I field queries from students who are perplexed that a web site is asking them to pay $30 for a scholarly article they found using Google, and recent graduates who are distressed that they no longer have free access to Lexis Nexis.  And consider those who are based at small and/or ill-funded academic institutions, both in the US and abroad, and rely heavily on interlibrary loan and/or database license restriction-violating friends at larger institutions (who email them .pdfs or share passwords).

It is relatively easy to embrace the principle that scholarly information should be freely disseminated and available to all – but real life and the economics of scholarly publishing make open access more complicated.  To explore these issues, the Association for Research Libraries  has an Open Access initiative called SPARC.  SPARC produces a brochure (pdf) that is much more eloquent than I can be about the benefits of open access, and the web site has sections on economics and campus policies.  A few campuses have had their faculty commit to publishing their research in open access repositories, and many campuses have digital repositories, usually based in the libraries, to adequately organize and store various open access materials, which can range from digitized historic documents to data sets to student papers (including dissertations) to scholarly research by faculty.

Open Access: You’re Already Using It

Some of the best-loved and most heavily used online resources for Classics research are open access: Perseus, the core collection of the TLG, and Lacus Curtius, to name some of the most popular.

The blog AWOL: The Ancient World Online has been collecting scholarly journals and other resources relevant to ancient studies that are open access, and has amassed an impressively long lost of titles.

The Hathi Trust catalog is an important scholarly site to be aware of.  Supported by major US research libraries,  it has online full-text of many scholarly works that are out of copyright, and the indexing and searchability are better than Google Books (which is also a valuable resource for open-access scholarly books and a few journals.)

What have I missed?  Tell me the best scholarly resource you use online for Classics research that is open-access.  I am certain I am missing many non-US ones!

Open Access: How You Can Contribute

As a teacher and scholar, you can help promote open access resources by:

  • Recommending them to your students and colleagues.
  • Publishing your scholarly papers in open access journals, especially if you are past the tenure process and can actually attract readers to these often newer journals because of your well-known name.
  • Looking closely at your contracts with publishers when you sign them.  If they don’t allow you to keep copyright of your own works, consider asking for an amendment of the agreement.
  • For scholarly works for which you hold the copyright, consider posting them online as free .pdf files, making them de facto open access.  A personal or departmental web site is a good place for this (you can link .pdf files to an online CV, for example) or a ‘scholarly social networking site’ like Academia.edu makes the process easy.

Are there other ideas I have missed?  Have questions about Open Access?  Let me know!

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Online Books: Google Books Greek and Latin and Hathi Trust

June 18, 2010

Google Books, working with Professors Greg Crane and Alison Babeu of Tufts University, has recently published two pages collecting digitized texts relevant to Classics.

  • Ancient Greek and Latin Texts is accessible to all, consisting of out-of-copyright volumes.  Downloadable (searchable!) zip files include plain text and images, and a link is provided to the Google Books page for the volume, which can then be read online or downloaded as a .pdf.
  • Ancient Greek and Latin Texts – Limited Distribution limits download of the zip files to users in the United States, and requires the user to log in with a Google account in order to download.   All users can get access to the Google Books page for the text, which may or may not be available for online reading or download as a .pdf.

If you are searching for digitized versions of ancient texts or scholarly works, I also recommend the Hathi Trust catalog.  Hathi Trust is managed by a cooperative association of major United States academic libraries.  It serves as a repository for many digitized collections of these libraries, and, like Google Books, includes many out-of-copyright works of scholarship in full.  Indeed, in some cases, Hathi Trust has worked to make scholarly works available when Google Books has not done so (I described an example here, and John Wilkin of the University of Michigan explained how they do it in comments).  I also find it has much better indexing than Google Books (since it relies on library records!), making the search for a known item much simpler than in Google Books, where often enough many irrelevant results clutter the screen.