The problem with linking open access materials into catalogs isn't
entirely simple, and I don't agree that librarians haven't thought
about how to do this. I was trying to get a file of MARC records for
all of the Internet Archive's open access materials so that those
could be available via a cataloging service, but with current
cataloging practices it's very hard to do without artificially
swelling the size of many small catalogs. This is because adding a
link for a different manifestation from a bibliographic record is not
only a violation of the cataloging rules but could lead to confusion.
Thus a different version of the Work would add another record to the
catalog. (This issue was discussed ad nauseum throughout the 1990's
under the rubric of "multiple versions cataloging," an issue that in
part led to the development of RDA.) When (and I hope it is "when")
bibliographic data is created with the concept of a Work, then
associating different versions of the work (some hard copy, some
digital) should be much easier. Even with that, I'm not confident that
we can accurately identify "same Work" using the metadata we have today.
I ran into this issue when talking to public library librarians who
would like to have the ability to bring in open access full text for
works that they hold but there wasn't a neat way to do it. I believe
it will be possible to export MARC records for open access texts, but
getting those into library catalogs appears to be labor intensive for
the libraries themselves. Another thing: none of them were interested
in taking in ALL available full texts, meaning that there was still
going to be the effort of matching or selection. What they wanted was
open versions of non-open Works that they hold. So that's what we need
to figure out how to do.
Quoting Eric Hellman <[log in to unmask]>:
> The others who have responded while I was off, you know, doing
> stuff, have done a much better job of answering your question than I
> would have. I would have said something glib like "almost all ways,
> with respect to open-access digital materials".
> There's a shift in library mindset that has to occur along with the
> transition from print to digital. The clearest example that I've
> seen is the typical presentation of pretend-its-print
> out-of-copyright material. A library will have purchased PIP access
> to an annotated edition of a Shakespeare play, or a new translation
> of Crime and Punishment. But the public domain versions of these
> works (which are perfectly good) don't exist in the catalog. A
> patron looking for ebook versions of these works will then
> frequently be denied access because another patron has already
> checked out the licensed version.
> That can't be justified by any vision for libraries that I can think
> of. It can't be justified because it's hard or time consuming, or
> because there are a flood of PD Crime and Punishments clamoring for
> attention. It's just a result of unthinking and
> It's my hope that there are a number of not-so-hard problems around
> this situation that people on this list have the tools to solve.
> On May 19, 2011, at 1:30 AM, Karen Coyle wrote:
>> Quoting Eric Hellman <[log in to unmask]>:
>>> Exactly. I apologize if my comment was perceived as coy, but I've
>>> chosen to invest in the possibility that Creative Commons
>>> licensing is a viable way forward for libraries, authors, readers,
>>> etc. Here's a link the last of a 5 part series on open-access
>>> ebooks. I hope it inspires work in the code4lib community to make
>>> libraries more friendly to free stuff.
>> In what ways do you think that libraries today are not friendly to
>> free stuff?
>>> On May 18, 2011, at 7:20 PM, David Friggens wrote:
>>>>>> Some ebooks, in fact some of the greatest ever written, already
>>>>>> cost less
>>>>>> than razor blades.
>>>>> Do you mean ones not under copyright?
>>>> Those, plus Creative Commons etc.
>> Karen Coyle
>> [log in to unmask] http://kcoyle.net
>> ph: 1-510-540-7596
>> m: 1-510-435-8234
>> skype: kcoylenet
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