Issue 53, 2022-05-09

Editorial — New name change policy

Ron Peterson

The Code4Lib Journal Editorial Committee is implementing a new name change policy aimed to facilitate the process and ensure timely and comprehensive name changes for anyone who needs to change their name within the Journal.

Works, Expressions, Manifestations, Items: An Ontology

Karen Coyle

The concepts first introduced in the FRBR document and known as “WEMI” have been employed in situations quite different from the library bibliographic catalog. This is evidence that a definition of similar classes that are more general than those developed for library usage would benefit metadata developers broadly. This article proposes a minimally constrained set of classes and relationships that could form the basis for a useful model of created works.

Citation Needed: Adding Citations to CONTENTdm Records

Jenn Randles & Andrew Bullen

The Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Illinois State Library identified a need to add citation information to individual image records in OCLC’s CONTENTdm ( Experience with digital archives at both institutions showed that citation information was one of the most requested features. Unfortunately, CONTENTdm does not natively display citation information about image records; to add this functionality, custom JavaScript had to be written that would interact with the underlying React environment and parse out or retrieve the appropriate metadata to dynamically build record citations. Detailed code and a description of methods for building two different models of citation generators are presented.

Fractal in detail: What information is in a file format identification report?

Ross Spencer

A file format identification report, such as those generated by digital preservation tools, DROID, Siegfried, or FIDO, contain an incredible wealth of information. Used to scan discrete sets of files comprising a part of, or the entirety of a digital collection, these datasets can serve as entry points for further activities including appraisal, identification of future work efforts, and the facilitation of transfer of digital objects into preservation storage. The information contained in them is fractal in detail and there are numerous outputs that can be generated from that detail. This paper describes the purpose of a file format identification report and the extensive information that can be extracted from one. It summarizes a number of ways of transforming them into the inputs for other systems and describes a handful of the tools already doing so. The paper concludes that describing a format identification report is a pivotal artefact in the digital transfer process, and asks the reader to consider how they might leverage them and the benefits doing so might provide.

Automated 3D Printing in Libraries

Brandon Patterson, Ben Engel, and Willis Holle

This article highlights the creation of an automated 3D printed system created at a health sciences library at a large research university. As COVID-19 limited in-person interaction with 3D printers, a group of library staff came together to code a form that took users’ 3D printed files and connected them to machines automatically. A ticketing system and payment form was also automated via this system. The only in-person interactions are dedicated staff members that unload the prints. This article will describe the journey in getting to an automated system and share code and strategies so others can try it for themselves.

Automating reference consultation requests with JavaScript and a Google Form

Stephen Zweibel

At the CUNY Graduate Center Library, reference consultation requests were previously sent to a central email address, then manually directed by our head of reference to the appropriate subject expert. This process was cumbersome and because the inbox was not checked every day, responses were delayed and messages were occasionally missed. In order to streamline this process, I created a form and wrote a script that uses the answers in the form to automatically forward any consultation requests to the correct subject specialist. This was done using JavaScript, Google Sheets, and the Google Apps Script backend. When a patron requesting a consultation fills out the form, they include their field of research. This field is associated in my script with a particular subject specialist librarian, who then receives an email with the pertinent information. Rather than requiring either that patrons themselves search for the right subject specialist, or that library faculty spend time distributing messages to the right liaison, this enables a smoother, more direct interaction. In this article, I will describe the steps I took to write this script, using only freely available online software.

Lantern: A Pandoc Template for OER Publishing

Chris Diaz

Lantern is a template and workflow for using Pandoc and GitHub to create and host multi-format open educational resources (OER) online. It applies minimal computing methods to OER publishing practices. The purpose is to minimize the technical footprint for digital publishing while maximizing control over the form, content, and distribution of OER texts. Lantern uses Markdown and YAML to capture an OER’s source content and metadata and Pandoc to transform it into HTML, PDF, EPUB, and DOCX formats. Pandoc’s options and arguments are pre-configured in a Bash script to simplify the process for users. Lantern is available as a template repository on GitHub. The template repository is set up to run Pandoc with GitHub Actions and serve output files on GitHub Pages for convenience; however, GitHub is not a required dependency. Lantern can be used on any modern computer to produce OER files that can be uploaded to any modern web server.

Strategies for Preserving Digital Scholarship / Humanities Projects

Kirsta Stapelfeldt, Sukhvir Khera, Natkeeran Ledchumykanthan, Lara Gomez, Erin Liu, and Sonia Dhaliwal

The Digital Scholarship Unit (DSU) at the University of Toronto Scarborough library frequently partners with faculty for the creation of digital scholarship (DS) projects. However, managing completed projects can be challenging when it is no longer under active development by the original project team, and resources allocated to its ongoing maintenance are scarce. Maintaining inactive projects on the live web bloats staff workloads or is not possible due to limited staff capacity. As technical obsolescence meets a lack of staff capacity, the gradual disappearance of digital scholarship projects forms a gap in the scholarly record. This article discusses the Library DSU’s experimentations with using web archiving technologies to capture and describe digital scholarship projects, with the goal of accessioning the resulting web archives into the Library’s digital collections. In addition to comparing some common technologies used for crawling and replay of archives, this article describes aspects of the technical infrastructure the DSU is building with the goal of making web archives discoverable and playable through the library’s digital collections interface.

The DSA Toolkit Shines Light Into Dark and Stormy Archives

Shawn M. Jones, Himarsha R. Jayanetti, Alex Osborne, Paul Koerbin, Martin Klein, Michele C. Weigle, Michael L. Nelson

Themed web archive collections exist to make sense of archived web pages (mementos). Some collections contain hundreds of thousands of mementos. There are many collections about the same topic. Few collections on platforms like Archive-It include standardized metadata. Reviewing the documents in a single collection thus becomes an expensive proposition. Search engines help find individual documents but do not provide an overall understanding of each collection as a whole. Visitors need to be able to understand what individual collections contain so they can make decisions about individual collections and compare them to each other. The Dark and Stormy Archives (DSA) Project applies social media storytelling to a subset of a collection to facilitate collection understanding at a glance. As part of this work, we developed the DSA Toolkit, which helps archivists and visitors leverage this capability. As part of our recent International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) grant, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Old Dominion University (ODU) piloted the DSA toolkit with the National Library of Australia (NLA). Collectively we have made numerous improvements, from better handling of NLA mementos to native Linux installers to more approachable Web User Interfaces. Our goal is to make the DSA approachable for everyone so that end-users and archivists alike can apply social media storytelling to web archives.

Supporting open access, integrating distributed research platforms, and building a research information management platform

Daniel M. Coughlin, Cynthia Hudson Vitale

Academic libraries are often called upon by their university communities to collect, manage, and curate information about the research activity produced at their campuses. Proper research information management (RIM) can be leveraged for multiple institutional contexts, including networking, reporting activities, building faculty profiles, and supporting the reputation management of the institution.

In the last ten to fifteen years the adoption and implementation of RIM infrastructure has become widespread throughout the academic world. Approaches to developing and implementing this infrastructure have varied, from commercial and open-source options to locally developed instances. Each piece of infrastructure has its own functionality, features, and metadata sources. There is no single application or data source to meet all the needs of these varying pieces of research information, many of these systems together create an ecosystem to provide for the diverse set of needs and contexts.

This paper examines the systems at Pennsylvania State University that contribute to our RIM ecosystem; how and why we developed another piece of supporting infrastructure for our Open Access policy and the successes and challenges of this work.

ISSN 1940-5758