Thursday, June 28, 2007

Some catching up....
I am rather behind on some posts (like I attended JCDL2007 in Vancouver last week - sans wireless - and need to post on some goings-on there...) and would like to point out some excellent work presented by a colleague of mine at CISTI: Richard Akerman's presentation at ICSTI 2007 Nancy,
titled "Web tools for web reviewers...and Everyone" and at IATUL titled "Library service-oriented architecture to enhance access to science".

[Thanks to Richard for correcting my earlier confusions....]

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

W3C Releases WSDL 2.0 Recommendation
Today the W3C released version 2.0 of WSDL, which supports both REST-style HTTP and SOAP, and includes a converter to WSDL 2.0.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nature Preceedings

Nature has announced what is basically a repository, Nature Preceedings - similar to for physics - for researchers in biology, medicine, chemistry and the Earth sciences to share early findings: "pre-publication research, unpublished manuscripts, presentations, posters, white papers, technical papers, supplementary findings, and other scientific documents". There is no peer review, but staff curators filter-out materials that are not legitimate scientific contributions. There are also 13 subject RSS feeds. Of particular interest is how every item is given a DOI or Handler, making it more easily citable. More discussion at O'Reilly Radar and Connotea.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Stewardship of digital research data: a framework of principles and guidelines

Sub-title: "Responsibilities of research institutions and funders, data managers, learned societies and publishers"

This draft report from the Research Information Network (RIN), UK, for consultation is a must-read for those wrestling with policies and guidelines concerned with the long-term management, access to, and archiving of digital data generated by the activities of researchers. It outlines a comprehensive policy framework, based around five principles:

  1. Roles and responsibilities
  2. Standards and quality assurance
  3. Access, usage and credit
  4. Benefits and cost effectiveness
  5. Preservation and sustainability
This draft report is a follow-up to the excellent January 2007 report: Research Funders’ Policies for the management of information outputs and the June 2005 RCUK position on issue of improved access to research outputs, the latter focusing solely on research outputs as publications. Of particular interest are the reponses of the various research funding councils in the U.K.:

Update 2008 01 15:

Ontario Data Documentation, Extraction Service and Infrastructure Initiative (ODESI) - Launched

In what likely will become a busy trend, the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) has announced a project for the creation of a data service providing researchers access to "a significant number of datasets". ODESI will be part of OCUL's already popular Scholar's Portal.

The press release is unclear as to whether this will only house standard data sets (like those from Statistics Canada, etc.) or that this service will allow for researchers to deposite their data. I would argue that a data deposite archive service is much more important at this time, as described and argued in the National Consultation on Access to Scientific Research Data (NCASRD), of which I was a participant.

I also was not able to find any mention of this on the OCUL or Scholar's Portal.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Tag Cloud inspired HTML Select lists

I have been working with Tag clouds and other Web 2.0 sorts of things quite a bit lately and couldn't help notice that it might be useful to use the Tag cloud "Size reflects frequency/importance" idiom in HTML select lists, so I did a little bit of experimenting (BTW, I did look for these on the Web but didn't find them: it doesn't mean they are not already out there...).

So I played with the styles of these elements, and was able to get something that looks like this:

I am not sure how the above HTML renders in your browser, but here is how it renders in mine (Firefox on Linux (Suse 10.2):

It is interesting how the browser allocates space: it seems like it uses the largest (tallest) item in the list to allocate the height of the widget, which is makes sense. But while the version of Firefox appropriately sizes the pull-down contents (i.e. above, left), when a term is selected, it is sized at the default text font size (above right), even if its font size as defined and as display in the pull-down is larger. This appears to be a bug. But it is easily possible that there is some CSS that I should be using to look after this but do not know about. I have not tested this behaviour in other browsers, but I have for other versions of Firefox (1.06,

Notwithstanding this behaviour, on experimenting with these select variations, I think that they work well and are useful in the appropriate situations.