Friday, January 28, 2011

the library literature landscape

I've got a book chapter assignment with a March deadline looming. The topic: digital initiatives and interdisciplinarity in academic libraries. I'm doing a literature review to get my head around the state-of-the-art thinking in the area. The process is awkward and cumbersome.

There is the library literature, which I often access through Library and Information Science index to which we subscribe. I also search Google Scholar.

When I find something, I often need to ILL it. The article usually arrives in a day or two in a more or less readable form generally scanned from the print. From the perspective of communication between scholars, this seems backward on so many levels. The whole ILL model of redigitizing content that is already digital but behind a paywall is a bizarre one, though I must admit it works on a pragmatic level.

I'm not a utopian who thinks that every journal even in our sector needs to be free to access. Just give me the ability to subscribe in one package for a reasonable price to all the important literature in the field.

Another category of literature is the report published by a nonprofit organization: CLIR, ITHAKA, OCLC, ACLS, etc. These are often data rich and useful.

And then there's the blogosphere, which come to think of it, I haven't tapped much. I'm off to Google Blog Search...

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