Thursday, November 10, 2011

Charleston Conference 2011

I (Robin Sinn) also attended the Charleston Conference. Some of the things I found interesting are below.

  • Several talks focused on e-reference. How to point undergraduate students to an online reference collection One library actually adds a subject heading to the records for their online encyclopedias, so they can be found with a catalog search. Several vendors are trying to build databases of reference works. Springer has a new product, there's Credo, as well as older efforts like MIT CogNet.
  • Open data, access, and research were discussed. One of the plenary sessions featured Cliff Lynch (CNI) and Lee Dirks (Microsoft Research) talking about the disconnect between research and the science publishing industry, and how technology might be able to help. I was part of a panel discussion on open access. It was interesting to hear about how The Optics Society has two entirely separate backend systems for their open and subscription journals. One of their problems is how to take author payments from non-English speakers who may not have a credit card or other electronic pay form handy.
  • One of the most interesting stories I heard was during a shotgun sessions. Librarians at Texas A&M - Commerce had to weed 40,000 items in a summer. They didn't talk to the faculty, they marketed what would happen with the new space, they created rules for temp hires to use when pulling, everything went through cataloging, onto pallets, and into closed tractor trailers. They eliminated 41 tons of print in 4 weeks. And replaced it with a newly acquired special collection and study space.
  • CrossMark is a new effort by CrossRef that will allow publishers to mark articles with information about retractions, errata, etc. This should help with version of record problems.

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