20.278 digital use of technical literature

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2006 08:03:25 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 20, No. 278.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2006 07:56:21 +0100
         From: "Shaker Publishing Newsletter" <newsletter_at_shakerpublishing.eu>
         Subject: Digital use of technical literature

     Shaker Verlag
     2006/10 - #955990#

     Dear author,

     This year's Book Fair in Frankfurt, the biggest
     in the world, that has just ended was marked by
     a current development that is affecting all areas
     of literature: the progressive digitisation of the
     book and media industry. More and more technical
     literature in particular is being digitised and
     processed for full text searches on the Internet.

     In today's newsletter we would like to briefly inform
     you of the latest developments in the field of digitisation
     and explain the possibilities these offer you as an
     author and scientist.

     Yours sincerely

     Shaker Publishing, Aachen

     ================ Contents =======================

     1. Digitisation as a key topic of the Frankfurt Book Fair
     2. Google Book Search
        2.1 Full text search
        2.2 Legal uncertainty
     3. Planned alternative projects
     4. Amazon offers
        4.1 Search Inside!
        4.2 Amazon Upgrade
     5. Your publication
     6. Information on new publications
     7. Your opinion
     8. Newsletter distribution list

     ================ Contents =======================

     1. Digitisation as a key topic of the Frankfurt Book Fair

     30 percent of the products and services offered at
     the Frankfurt Book Fair came from the digital sector.
     The numerous info sessions on digitisation made one
     thing very clear: electronic media should not be seen
     as rivals but as supplements and a support for the
     book trade. The providers of the various book search
     engines on the Internet in particular are interested
     in strengthening books as a medium. The contents of
     books should be made more transparent to help the
     selective marketing and distribution of individual
     This results in two big advantages for science: firstly,
     the search for appropriate technical literature within
     the scope of research work is facilitated and secondly,
     one's own publications are noticed more by other
     scientists and interested parties.
     We would like to present the most important full text
     projects and their relevant bias in the following.

     2. Google Book Search

     The biggest, and at the same time most controversial
     digitisation project is the book search offered by the
     search engine Google. For over a year, Google has been
     digitising the inventories of the world's biggest
     university libraries so that the contents of the books
     can be used for full text searches on the Internet.
     Thus, all available knowledge will gradually be digitised
     so that it can be called up at any time in a sort of
     comprehensive, virtual library.
     Apart from the library inventories, other titles from
     relevant publishers will also be provided within the
     scope of the so-called partner program. Google is at
     present trying to push this program.

     2.1 Full text search

     All digitised full texts can be searched for terms that
     appear in all works at http://www.books.google.com and
     viewed in the context of the relevant passage in the text.
     A few pages are shown for titles from the partner program
     but only brief "snippets" for those from the library project.
     Public domain works from the library program, in other
     words those works that are no longer covered by copyright,
     are placed at the readers full disposal. Once you have found
     a certain book via a search word you can then search for
     other terms within this book and view the relevant pages.
     Information on various sources of supply - assortments,
     online book stores and publisher's website - or library
     locations may also be provided.

     2.2 Legal uncertainty

     The digitisation project is controversial above all because
     apart from the books submitted by publishing houses, complete
     library inventories are being scanned without the express
     consent of the copyright owners. Although protected works
     can only be viewed to a very limited extent, scanning and
     storage in a database can already be regarded as an
     unauthorised processing and utilisation of the work, thus
     violating the copyright. In reaction to protests, Google
     has now granted copyright owners the right to object to the
     A number of copyright owners are also sceptical about titles
     from the partner program since the search engine provider
     alone controls access to the book content. They also fear
     that the restriction specified by Google to the relevant
     excerpts can be technically bypassed, thus leading to the
     risk of a misuse of the entire copyrighted material.

     3. Planned alternative projects

     As a reaction to the search service offered by Google, its
     rival Yahoo established the "Open Content Alliance" (OCA) at
     the end of last year, which has now been joined by Microsoft
     too. Unlike Google, copyrighted works will only be digitised
     with the express consent of the author. These texts can then
     be called up in full by users as open content.
     The "European Digital Library" is a European initiative. The
     European Union is supporting digital access to the European
     cultural heritage with this project. A European network is
     being set up in co-operation with European national libraries.
     The European Digital Library will be based on the infrastructure
     of the European Library (TEL), a web portal, offering access
     to catalogues and digital collections of at present 17 European
     national libraries.
     The project began on September 1st. All national libraries of
     EU and EFTA countries should be integrated by the end of 2007.

     4. Amazon offers

     The Internet dealer Amazon is also seriously involved in the
     digitisation of books. Apart from the familiar "Search Inside!"
     function, conceived as a marketing tool for book sales, Amazon
     will also be offering an additional digital utilisation option
     for technical literature as of the coming Spring with
     "Amazon Upgrade".

     4.1 Search Inside!

     The Search Inside! function has been available on the
     European portals of Amazon for over a year now. The
     program covers mainly text and reference books and
     concentrates on titles that are currently available
     in stores. They are provided by the relevant publishers
     or authors as a full text. When a search term is entered,
     all titles will be shown in which this term occurs. The
     user can then view the two pages before and after the
     term that has been found in these books.
     Search Inside!, just like Google Book Search, can thus
     help one's own academic and scientific research whilst
     simultaneously spreading one's own publications since
     interested parties may find books with the help of a
     full text search that they would not otherwise have
     discovered with a conventional search for title, author
     or key word.

     4.2 Amazon Upgrade

     Amazon presented its latest program, Amazon Upgrade, at
     the Frankfurt Book Fair. Readers who buy a book from the
     Upgrade program can also acquire access to an online,
     full text version of the same title for a small extra
     charge. The digital documents can then be viewed from
     any computer with an Internet connection. You can search
     for certain terms and add bookmarks and comments. The
     edited pages can also be printed within certain limits.
     They cannot be downloaded, access must always be via the
     Amazon website.
     The Upgrade program has already been running for the past
     18 months in the USA and its European launch is scheduled
     for Spring 2007.

Received on Wed Oct 25 2006 - 03:38:31 EDT

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