R. I. P. Bassel Khartabil (1981-2015)

„Bassel was detained on March 15, 2012 amid arrests on the one-year
anniversary of the Syrian uprising. He had been missing since October 2015,
when he was removed from the Syrian prison where he was being held. His
wife, Noura, confirmed earlier today in a statement on Facebook that he was
executed by the Syrian government shortly after his disappearance.

Bassel was a leader, advocate, and member of so many open culture
communities it is difficult to do them all justice. In addition to his
contributions to Wikimedia, he was project lead and public affiliate for
Creative Commons Syria, a member of the Global Voices community, a free
software advocate and contributor to Mozilla, and much more. The European
Parliament statement on his detention credited him with “opening up the
Internet in Syria and vastly extending online access and knowledge to the
Syrian people.““ (Wikimedia-L)


Bassel Khartabil (Safadi).jpg
By Joi Ito – http://www.flickr.com/photos/joi/4670781482, CC BY 2.0, Link

Warburg Institute London has survived

„Three years ago this petition was initiated to show support for the life & legacy of the Warburg Institute in particular, and the pursuit of arts and humanities research in general. Today, the petition can be declared victorious on at least one of those counts — the Warburg Institute has survived, thrived, and is no longer under threat, having featured a wonderful programme of events through the vision of David Freedberg as director, and as of October, continuing its work under the directorship of Bill Sherman.“


Googles Digital News Initiative fördert Nachrichtenroboter-Projekt der Press Association

Die Digital News Initiative DNI („a partnership between Google and news publishers“) fördert RADAR (Reporters and Data and Robots), ein Projekt zur Automatisierung von Nachrichtenmeldungen:



Es handelt sich um
„a new service which will create up to 30,000 localised stories each month from open data sets. RADAR is intended to meet the increasing demand for consistent, fact-based insights into local communities, for the benefit of established regional media outlets, as well as the growing sector of independent publishers, hyperlocal outlets and bloggers“, „scheduled to launch in early 2018“.

Traditional vs. Virtual Archives – The Evolving Digital Identity of Archives in Germany


Anna Sobczak: „This thesis describes how the IT technology changed archives. It was divided into six chapters. The first two form the theoretical and historical introduction of the subject matter. The first chapter, entitled Informatization of archives, explains the topic of informatization, including computerisation and the implementation of archival information management system. The second chapter, The beginnings of digitization, was prepared likewise, although it also has a thread of analysis of subsequent attempts to coordinate digitization, from the lowest to the highest level. The digitization dealt with in this chapter is understood broadly as a process consisting of many different stages from selecting, through scanning to Internet availability. In the next chapter, entitled Description, a range of standards used by archivists to describe archival material is presented, beginning with ISAD(G), providing details on the criteria for archival description and EAD, which standardises the electronic exchange of data. Other standards, including EAG, ISDIAH, EAC and ISAAR, as well as METS and PREMIS are also mentioned. This chapter also touches upon the issue of software used by German archives to describe archive records, such as HADIS, scopeArchiv, BASYS, AUGIAS or Faust, as well as the issue of electronic inventories and related retroconversion. The fourth chapter, Digitization of records, covers the process of digitization as it is broadly understood, equipment, digitization laboratories and formats of stored scanned documents, and presents models for digitization projects based on in-house digitization or out-sourcing. The fifth chapter, Archives on the Internet, is devoted to the issues related to the development of internet archives services, namely their websites and portals. The last chapter, Future Archives, deals with the developing and unavoidable trend in the formation of new electronic archives that collect electronically developed archive materials, which include electronic documents, databases, websites and digitized objects. As in the first two chapters, there is a theoretical introduction, which guides the reader into the issue and makes an attempt to estimate the advance in creating that sort of archives. The final part of this thesis summarises the development of the digital identity of the German archives in the last decades.“

Historische Karten der Sanborn Map Company für die US-Feuerversicherung

www.loc.gov/item/prn-17-074: „The Library of Congress has placed online nearly 25,000 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, which depict the structure and use of buildings in U.S. cities and towns. Maps will be added monthly until 2020, for a total of approximately 500,000.“

Website: www.loc.gov/collections/sanborn-maps/about-this-collection/

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanborn_Maps: „Daniel Alfred Sanborn, a civil engineer and surveyor, began working on fire insurance maps in 1866.“

A century of agriculture research goes online


Cornell University Library collaborated with Kathryn J. Boor ’80, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ (CALS), to release copyright restrictions on more than 1,700 documents published between 1880 and 1996. This material – produced by scholars at CALS, including the Cornell University and New York State Agricultural Experiment Stations, as well as Cornell Cooperative Extension – can now be searched, downloaded and read on HathiTrust, a digital library of more than 15 million volumes, of which Cornell University Library is a partner.

What is Open Peer Review?

„Open peer review is an umbrella term for a number of overlapping ways that peer review models can be adapted in line with the ethos of Open Science, including making reviewer and author identities open, publishing review reports and enabling greater participation in the peer review process. The full list of traits is:

Open identities: Authors and reviewers are aware of each other’s identity

Open reports: Review reports are published alongside the relevant article.

Open participation: The wider community to able to contribute to the review process.

Open interaction: Direct reciprocal discussion between author(s) and reviewers, and/or between reviewers, is allowed and encouraged.

Open pre-review manuscripts: Manuscripts are made immediately available (e.g., via pre-print servers like arXiv) in advance of any formal peer review procedures.

Open final-version commenting: Review or commenting on final “version of record” publications.

Open platforms: Review is de-coupled from publishing in that it is facilitated by a different organizational entity than the venue of publication.“

Tony Ross-Hellauer: What is open peer review? A systematic review [version 1; referees: 1 approved, 1 approved with reservations]. F1000Research 2017, 6:588 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.11369.1)

“Pizzagate” and the Nocturnal Ritual Fantasy


„A persistent delusion exists Western culture: that shadowy, conspiratorial groups gather together in secret—preferably at night—to plot the overthrow of society. As part of their plotting, the conspirators supposedly ritually abuse, murder, and consume innocent children.

Ideas about this conspiracy have appeared repeatedly throughout our history. Historian Norman Cohn called this recurrent conspiracy theory “the nocturnal ritual fantasy.” Cohn argues that imperial Romans made these claims against early Christians; later medieval Christian authorities, in turn, made similar allegations against Christian heretics, Jews, and so-called “witches”. Belief in the nocturnal ritual delusion helped to justify deadly violence against these marginalized groups, and, in fact, played an important role in establishing their very marginality.

In all cases, the claims were false. They were nothing more than the imagined behaviour of fantastical enemies that existed more in the minds of those who feared them than in reality. The recent “Pizzagate Conspiracy” that came to a head during and in the wake of the recent American presidential election is a modern form of the nocturnal ritual fantasy. In this modern shape it is just as threatening as its past manifestations, with the threat of violence inherent in those who believe it.“

Libraries and Archives in the Anthropocene: Colloquium, NYU, May 13-14, 2017, livestream on Facebook

Die New York University veranstaltet ein Kolloqium zum Klimawandel als Herausforderung für  Bibliotheken und Archive, das laut
auf dem Facebook-Auftritt von Litwin Books live übertragen werden wird.

Ankündigung des Kolloqiums:



Preprint Servers

„Colleagues —

You may have seen these interesting posts about preprints on Scholarly Kitchen yesterday and today:

Yesterday’s: https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2017/04/18/stars-aligning-preprints/

Today’s: https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2017/04/19/preprint-server-not-preprint-server/
We took this as an opportunity to articulate the status and direction of OSF Preprints and the branded services it supports with a blog post:


We’d appreciate your comments as always, and your sharing it in your social networks. Also, it offered the occasion to describe the ongoing effort to build moderation workflows on the service, and to announce some of the new partners that will be offering preprint services using the open infrastructure:

LawArXiv — A partnership of Legal Information Preservation Alliance (LIPA), Mid-American Law Library Consortium (MALLCO), NELLCO Law Library Consortium Inc. (NELLCO) and Cornell Law Library
MarXiv: Marine Affairs Research and Education will offer a preprint service for the ocean sciences.
SciELO: SciELO’s preprint service will extend their substantial support of scholarly publishing in Latin America, Portugal, Space, and South Africa.
PaleoArXiv: A community of researchers has organized to offer a preprint service to the paleontology community.
MindArkīv: The Mind & Life Institute will operate MindArkīv to foster preprints in the contemplative sciences.
FUSF: The Focused Ultrasound Foundation will operate a preprint service to accelerate sharing of research related to their funding mission.

Hope you find this discussion useful.


Rusty Speidel
Marketing Director
Center for Open Science“ (SCHOLCOMM-L)

Source: Biology preprints over time

Chaucer hitteth the Web


It has been a warm few days in London and at the British Library we feel that Spring has sprung. Spring is, of course, a time when it rains sweet rain and little birds stay up all night singing amorous songs. Or so Geoffrey Chaucer (c.1343–1400) would have us believe. And we see no reason to doubt that this is what happens. So, to celebrate the arrival of Spring, we have digitised one of our manuscripts of Geoffrey Chaucer’s collection of pilgrims‘ stories, The Canterbury Tales.