The Book of Trogool

Archives for September, 2009

IRs, “data,” and incentive

Many of my readers will already have seen the Nature special issue on data, data curation, and data sharing. If you haven’t, go now and read; it’s impossible to overestimate the importance of this issue turning up in such a widely-read venue. I read the opening of “Data sharing: Empty archives” with a certain amount…

Classification

Now that we’ve looked at how back-of-book indexes endeavor to organize and present the information found in a book, we can consider organizing books themselves. It’s quite astonishing, how many people go to libraries and bookstores who never seem to stop to think about how books end up on particular shelves in particular areas. There…

When is text in a PDF not text?

I see this confusion so often it seems worth addressing. If you scan a page of text, what you have is a picture. A computer sees it not as letters, numbers, and punctuation?but as pixels, bits of light and shade and color, just like the pixels in your favorite family photo on Flickr. You can’t…

Tidbits, 7 September 2009

Happy Labor Day, US readers. Time to clean out the “toblog” tag on del.icio.us again: Everyone else has already linked to this Wall Street Journal article on data curation, so who am I to go against the tide? My chief takeaway is the trenchant observation that judging the value of data is not straightforward. One…

Welcome AL Direct readers!

I found out from a few different sources (thanks, all!) that my post about back-of-book indexes made it into American Libraries Direct yesterday. Welcome to any and all new readers! I hope you stick around. I’m going to tackle classification next?

Migration versus emulation

Just a quickie post today? In answer to my post about intertwingularity, commenter Andy Arenson suggested that the way to rescue an Excel spreadsheet whose functions or other behaviors depended on a particular version of Excel was to keep that specific version of Excel runnable indefinitely. This is called “emulation,” and it assuredly has its…

The problem of “expert location”

A common problem adduced in e-research (not just e-research, but it does come up quite a bit here) is expertise location, both local and global. You need a statistician. Or (ahem) a metadata or digital-preservation expert. Or a researcher in an allied area. Or a researcher in a completely different area. Or a copyright expert…