Friday, October 15, 2021

Quiz on modern trends in libraries (Series 4)


Hi all, I am here again with the new series of questions to test your knowledge about the modern emerging trends and technologies in libraries and the information science.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Open science tools for scholarly literature search



           This post is intended to help the scientific research community and the library professionals involved in making every effort for enabling the research community in accessing more and more research results that are behind the paywall or beyond the paywall. 

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Quiz on modern trends in libraries (Series 3)

Friday, July 16, 2021

Controlled Digital Lending (CDL): making knowledge available to everyone everywhere.


The practice of controlled lending in libraries goes many years back. Libraries were already helping their users by providing documents they require within the existing copyright laws. In the pandemic when many libraries remained closed. Still, millions of digitized books were available for free to be borrowed by readers and learners everywhere at their places. The CDL has become a buzzword in the library community during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many library communities and associations across the world have supported the practice of CDL in libraries. The use of the term “Controlled Digital Lending” first appeared in "Position Statement on Controlled Digital Lending by Libraries", published in 2018.

IFLA’s Statement on Controlled Digital Lending, which was approved by IFLA’s Governing Board in May 2021, has been endorsed  by 55 institutions and 120 individual copyright experts and librarians, strongly support the practice of CDL. 

The Internet Archive’s Open Libraries program is also powered by CDL. Internet Archive has been doing this practice of CDL (lending one digital copy to one user at a time) since 2011. It is a pioneer of CDL. According to the Internet Archive “By digitizing books, we unlock them for communities with limited or no access, creating a lifeline to trusted information. The Internet Archive’s Open Libraries project will bring four million books online, through purchase or digitization, while honoring the rights of creators and expanding their online reach.” 

What is Controlled Digital Lending (CDL)?

Controlled Digital Lending is the process through which the libraries legally lend the digital copies of books in a controlled environment to prevent users from redistributing or copying the digital versions. 


"Controlled digital lending (CDL) is a framework under which the Libraries can scan up to the full text of print work in our possession and lend it electronically." (

Why CDL?

Many print books that are not available online, either out of print or difficult to find, are still in copyright. So the users are not getting the benefit of such books. CDL is the effort by librarians across the world to fix the problem. When readers need access to such print books, the library scans the digital copy of the book that it owns and provides access to digital copy in a restricted environment to prevent readers from copying and redistributing the digital copy.

The legal part related to CDL

CDL enables the circulation of copies equal to those that had been legitimately acquired by the libraries. For example, if a library has four copies of a title then it can only lend four copies of its digital version to the users. The library can also do it in another manner like, if three print copies are circulated to the users, then only one copy of the digital version of it can be circulated to one user at a time. When the digital copy is being read by a user then for that period even if, the fourth copy of the title is there in a library, it is restricted for the other user until the digital version lending time limit is up for the user reading the copy. When the electronic version is “checked out” the physical copy of the book becomes unavailable and vice versa. The no. of copies to be circulated irrespective of the format of title can not exceed the no. of copies library owned legally. This is to avoid the situation that, the library paying for one copy and providing more than one copy for use. In this way, CDL is permissible under existing copyright law.

To prevent the infringement of authors’ and publishers’ copyrights, a library can only lend a digital copy (copy of a book it owns legally) out to one person at a time, and that the copy distributed to a reader cannot be accessed after the loan expires.

According to the above, there are three points to be noted before proceeding to CDL:

    1. The library must own the book that is being loaned through CDL.
    2. The library must maintain the own and loan ratio of copies of a book being circulated.
    3. The library must maintain a Controlled digital environment for readers preventing them from copying and redistributing the digital versions.

    Advantage of CDL

    1. Tool for sharing knowledge 

    2. Making knowledge accessible to everyone and everywhere.

    3. Making print material more discoverable in a safe environment and giving access to rare books that are not previously lent out.

    4. Through CDL, Digital version of books are accessible to Print and other disabled persons

    5. It supported students, faculty, and researchers through this pandemic by providing the digital copies of the collection remotely.

    6. It allows learners in rural areas with limited transportation to access books at their places.

    Although there is controversy between a group of (authors & publishers) and Libraries and organizations advocating CDL on the copyrights issues. However some scholars have asserted that the CDL is not cutting the revenue of authors and publishers, as the legal use of books is already permitted by the copyright law when the libraries lend the books physically. CDL is digital lending in a controlled environment within the existing copyright laws.



    Friday, June 25, 2021

    A boost in open scholarly communication with MOU between DOAJ and CrossRef


          Taking Open Access and Scholarly Communications to the next level, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and Crossref  signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on June 22, 2021.

    Sunday, June 13, 2021

    Are libraries only for licensing ebooks? : bursting myth


                 In the digital age, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world badly. Libraries are working tirelessly to ensure their resources are available to those in need and looking for new ways of providing access to books, journals, and e-contents to their users. Libraries are more focusing on purchasing e-books as the situation demands. 

    Now the question arises: “Is the role of libraries only limited to licensing books, and licensing is the only way of providing access to e-books?” 

    Let's discuss this myth among the users of the library. 

    As a librarian, in the present digital era, "all we do is provide access to e-books" is not true. Then the question is: “What do libraries do?”

    Libraries build collections that are not only for today's users but for the users in the future also. Just like today's users the users in the future are also going to look for the historical background of the information and then build upon it their research. They look for the old research, findings, and methods used before going on with their further work. Libraries’ collections help them in literature surveys and finding old theories, based on which they make their own hypothesis to work upon.

    Libraries do the preservation, which is neither done by publishers nor by individuals to keep the work safe for future generations. Digitizing books also enables libraries to fulfill their age-old role as guardians of cultural posterity. Libraries are the safeguards of our cultural heritage like museums, galleries, and archives. The role of GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) institutions in preserving the nation’s cultural heritage can not be denied.

    Most of the time, many self-published books can not find their ways to get in the library collection as e-books because they don't have the name of big publishers with them. These cover the uncommon topics of some local interests and from the authors of marginalized groups. The libraries are also acquiring these books and fulfilling the Ranganathan’s law of “every book has its reader”. So, we can say that Libraries are providing and preserving content that is important, not just content that is profitable. 

    I will also appreciate the valuable comments that add value to our libraries from library professionals regarding this. Bursting these myths and find new ways to bring out the more strengthened libraries is necessary to empower our libraries.

    Friday, April 09, 2021

    Automatic Text Summarization: use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)


    A huge amount of information is generated every day from many sources like news, social media, RSS feeds, and others. It is difficult for one to read and digest all content at the same pace, so this needs to be effectively summarized to be useful. The Automatic Text Summarization has become essential that reduces the large text of a document to a summary but conveying the gist of the whole document.

    Tuesday, March 02, 2021

    Experience the joys of the physical library right in your web browser with Open Library Explorer


    We all have seen the whole year of 2020 hit severely by the Covid-19 pandemic. All schools, colleges, universities, and libraries were closed. People were bound to stay inside their homes and study with the limited resources they have. This need brought a paradigm shift in the ways of access to the resources. Library communities across the world have taken many initiatives of making maximum resources available online to a large number of users during this pandemic. Open Library Explorer is one of these.

    Open Library Explorer

    The beta version of Open Library Explorer has just launched in December 2020 to receive your feedback. It is a digital interface that gives readers the feeling as if they are navigating a physical library. Readers can seamlessly navigate to the sea of books anywhere online with a better experience.

    Key features:

    • Open Library Explorer presents you with the clickable shelves arranged category-wise like a computer and information science, religion, social sciences, philosophy, and psychology, etc.
    • The settings on the page allow you to choose between DDC or LC classification schemes.
    • In settings, we can also select the layout of books on the shelf like 3D, 3D Spines, 3D Flat that we want to see.
    • Readers have many options to select from the smart filter on the page to personalize their library.
    • Smart filters give the choice of converting your entire library to transform into a Children's library.

    Open Library

    Open Library is a project of the Internet Archive with a vision of making universal access to all knowledge with the contribution of librarians, authors, government officials, technologists, and book readers. Open Library is a non-profit, open-source, digital public library that lends millions of ebooks to its patrons. It is an open project that is open-source, open-data, and open for people who want to give their time and effort to building the site. The goal of the Open Library project is “one page for every book ever published anywhere in the world”. Even though it is a lofty goal, the team has gathered more than 20 million records from a variety of large catalog records and with a single contribution. All are welcome to contribute either a new entry or corrections to the existing catalog, just like in Wikipedia.

    There are many roles in an Open library project you can contribute as a volunteer:

    • As a technical writer, storyteller, editor, video maker, marketer, researcher, and idea person, you can contribute to the Open Library project by making its resources discoverable and more accessible to readers.
    • As a software engineer, you can help fix bugs and build new features and programs that reach millions of book lovers.
    • As a translator, to make the knowledge available and accessible in other languages across the globe.
    • As a beta tester, you can test features and give feedback.
    • As a designer and user researcher.

    As a librarian, how can you contribute to an open library project?

    Librarians can help to improve and edit the library catalog. Data errors like misspelled authors’ names, missing book covers, and duplicated entries are identified and fixed. Librarians can work together and communicate using a Slack chat channel hosted by Open Library. Open Library’s engineering team has created many resources for librarians to empower them in fixing common data problems at scale.



    Wednesday, February 10, 2021

    Quiz on modern trends in libraries (Series 2)

    Wednesday, January 20, 2021

    Quiz on modern trends in libraries (Series1)


    Here are some questions to test your knowledge about the modern emerging trends and technologies in libraries and information world.

    Friday, December 04, 2020

    Text and Data Mining: copyright issues

    As information professionals, we always focus on providing accurate and timely information to the users in the best possible ways and finding the different techniques to analyze and extract information from unstructured and structured data from various sources. Researchers are always in thirst for data and the latest information on which they can build upon their future research and support their findings. Researchers are able to work upon more and more research content through TDM because through this process large amounts of information can be analyzed electronically. Text and Data Mining has now become an important tool in scientific research and many other domains. From Social sciences, arts, and literature, and to the other Scientific fields, the role of TDM has become essential to extract the structured and unstructured data and analyze it to reach a certain knowledge pattern. Knowledge discovery through Text and Data Mining (TDM) can definitely lead to some revolutionary findings in many fields.


    Text and Data Mining (TDM) is a computational process of generating information by extracting and analyzing structured and unstructured data.


    Article 2(2) of the DSM (Digital Single Market) Directive defines text and data mining (‘TDM’) as:

    any automated analytical technique aimed at analyzing text and data in digital form in order to generate information which includes but is not limited to patterns, trends, and correlations”1.

    “Text and data mining (TDM) is the process of deriving information from machine-read material. It works by copying large quantities of material, extracting the data, and recombining it to identify patterns.” (UK Government)

    Difference between Text Mining and Data Mining:

    Text Mining is the computational process of extracting and analyzing unstructured data to reach a certain pattern of information.

    Data Mining is the computational process of extracting and analyzing structured data to reach a certain pattern of information.

    Four Stages of TDM Process in JISC model

    1. Research relevant documents are identified to be processed. 
    2. These documents are converted into a machine-readable format to extract structured data. machine-readable format of relevant documents is called Normalized documents.
    3. Useful information is extracted from the documents called "derived datasets".
    4. The extracted information is mined to discover new knowledge.

    Copyrights and legal issues involved in TDM activity?

    Text and data mining activities include copying the work, extraction of data, and analysis of data to generate useful information. Copying of any work without the permission of the author or whoever is the owner of the work is a violation of copyrights. In this case, the exception to copyright exists which allows the copying of work for non-commercial research. TDM activity is allowed only for that work that is subscribed by the researchers and they have lawful access to that work. 

    According to DSM directives, there are two exceptions to the restrictions on copying for TDM.

    1.     According to Article 3 TDM is permitted on copyrighted works where the user has lawful access to the protected work. Lawful access means the rights to read the works which are described as “access to content based on an open access policy or through contractual arrangements between rights holders and research organizations or cultural heritage institutions, such as subscriptions, or through other lawful means.”2 Research organizations and cultural heritage institutions involving universities have the primary goal of conducting scientific research and carrying out educational activities are permitted for copying and extraction of data from the copyrighted works if they have “lawful access” to the protected work.  In addition to permitting mining activities Art. 3(2) allows the secure storage and retention of copies of mined works and other subject-matters “for the purposes of scientific research, including for the verification of research results”.

    2.     Article 4 permits reproductions of, and extractions from, “lawfully accessible works” for TDM for any purpose. Art. 4 applies only on the condition that right holders have not expressly reserved their rights “in an appropriate manner, such as machine-readable means in the case of content made publicly available online”

          According to Prof. Matthew Sag in his article that “copying expressive works for non-expressive purposes should not be counted as infringement and  must be recognized as fair use.”3

    TDM is a good example of non-expressive use of copyrighted works, as the purpose of TDM is not to read those articles but to reach certain patterns of information, trends, and correlations through the automated analysis of the data in those articles.  Those contracts and terms of authors and publishers which restrict the researchers’ activity of text and data mining on their protected works without any reason are unenforceable.