Institutional Repository Content Worldwide and US

There are several reasons that an institution would have an IR.  Some focus on preservation and guaranteed access to their intellectual works.  Others create them to provide an alternative and some economic relief from the current scholarly work publishing model, and still others do it to increase the prestige of their institution.  Examining the types of materials actually contained in these IR’s can help reveal whether these reasons are working and what other uses may be developing.

Again the OpenDOAR project allows access to these charts:

Worldwide

Content Types in OpenDOAR Repositories - Worldwide, Institutional Repositories

United States

Content Types in OpenDOAR Repositories - United States, Institutional Repositories

One of the statistics that strikes me is that multimedia items are the third most frequent type of item in US Repositories.  They are growing well beyond the intial purpose of holding text-based materials.  Is the software that is available up to this task?

Encyclopedia of Life

Its finally live!  The Encyclopedia of Life has been sitting dormant for two years as it builds support and infrastructure.  Two days ago, I checked it and noticed that it is now operational with 25 sample species pages.  This site is really exciting because it could be the most comprehensive biological encyclopedia yet with the cooperation of the world’s largest and most reputable biological organizations like the American Museum of Natural History, the Biodiversity Heritage Library and the Smithsonian Institution.  Photos, taxonomy display and a sliding bar that changes the complexity of the information are all compelling features of each of the species pages.

Its underlying digital structure is supported by Fedora, which allows flexible digital storage and can reflect semantic relationships between digital objects.

Alive and Skyping

This evening marks the beginning of videochat with Skype.  Thanks to Gary Price’s talk at the Maryland SLA Technology Day, I was able to remember that wize.com is a good place to compare different types of webcams in the marketplace.   I chose Logitech’s QuickCam Deluxe for Notebooks for its price and good reviews regarding its video and audio quality.  In addition to Skyping it will be useful to record audio and video for screencasts.