UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

A PDF Repository for my Research Publications

In a recent post which explained Why I’m Now Embedding ORCID Metadata in PDFs I described my intentions to ensure that my research papers contains rich embedded metadata to held enhance the discoverability of the publications, ensure that authorship is asserted (by embedding the ORCID ID of the authors of the papers) and ensure that embedded images contain descriptions which help ensure that the content can be understood by visually impaired readers. In addition I wish to ensure that the PDF is stored in PDF/A format which provides a more preservable format.

In light of discussions on the blog and on email I have decided to embed the ORCID IDs for co-authors of my peer-reviewed papers although, as suggested by Geoffery Bilder, I will be embedding the HTTP URI version of the ORCID IDs (e.g. http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5875-8744) rather than just the ORCID ID itself (0000-0001-5875-8744). In…

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My e-book on e-books

I just had to do this… I’ve just published my collected articles and blogposts on e-books and e-readers as an EPUB document. I used the platform pressbooks.com to create the book. It’s a very clever concept basing on WordPress. I could create for each article a chapter in WordPress and then integrate text and images. The blog posts from two different WordPress blogs I could export out of the original blogs and then directly import into pressbooks. Only the date published I had to add manually – and to put them all in the right order was manual work. In the web edition also the comments to the blog posts are still available.

As a result the e-book about e-books is now available as a web edition on mrudolfebooks.pressbooks.com and as an EPUB file that you can download from here. As I didn’t want to publish it in a commercial shop I just give access from here. But maybe I need to get an ISBN and then publish it officially on Amazon and iBookstore? What do you think. I’m looking forward to your comments!

By the way the articles are mostly written in German, but there are also some articles and blog posts in English. Hope that’s alright for you!

And by the way there is also a mobipocket version available, just in case you use a Kindle…

e-book Mobipocket (version 1.01)

Gray screen appears on iMac during startup – and how the problem was solved

Subtitle: the usefulness of a backup

On Friday I just had to print out a document on my iMac at home. When I wanted to start it, the well-known gray screen appeared – and didn’t disappear anymore… But I needed this document really instantly. The first thing I could do, was to plug the external hard disk with my backup into my laptop (MacBook Air). And to my surprise I didn’t have to restore it to my too small hard drive, but could browse through the files on the HD and finally found the needed document, opened it on my laptop and printed it out. Mac’s backup system Time Machine is really very useful, indeed…

The next day I tried all the steps recommended by Apple’s support on the page Mac OS X: Gray screen appears during startup in order to fix the problem.

  • I performed a safed boot – but it didn’t help.
  • I reset the NVRAM / PRAM – but it didn’t work.
  • I restarted from the install disk and performed a disk check and a disk repair – but the gray screen reappeared again.
  • I checked cables and power source, removed all devices, but had no third party RAM or internal hardware to remove.

So, there was only one thing I could do before buying a new PC: 

  • I inserted the utility disk, performed an erase of the hard disk and a new installation of the system from the backup.

I didn’t really believe that this could help. And I was glad to use Time Machine really seriously every day. So I didn’t risk a data loss when the operation went wrong (after erasing the HD). The procedure took four hours – then came the moment, when I restarted my iMac – and there was the login window! I could login, the system started as nothing ever happened… I just had to update some settings (E-Mail, Dropbox, iTunes) and I could postpone buying a new PC 😉

So have you already made a backup of your system today?

Mobile Internet Services and their implication on libraries

Today I had a presentation in Bad Hersfeld, at a library congress (Hessischer Bibliothekstag 2012) about mobiles and their implication on libraries. My presentation in German is published on Slideshare.

At first I lined out some trends that show how important mobile internet usage has become. And the way internet resources are used has changed basically with smartphones and tablets. The browser used to be the main way to get access to online information. Mobile apps and web apps use information on the internet in a direct way.  Mobile users want to get fast access to the information they need. That means for libraries that their websites should be optimized for mobile access. You have to ask, what users are interested in when they are on the way. Of course, they need a mobile version of the OPAC with access to their user account and the possibility to research for information and to order and loan books. Unfortunately services offered by publishers are difficult to be integrated into a mobile library webpage. You hardly find mobile friendly ebook services. Some publishers offer native apps, which have their own interface to search for information (mainly articles). There are also mobile web apps, but libraries can only link to these services from their mobile webpage. I don’t see how these resources could be integrated into a mobile library service at the moment.

I talked also about mobile internet services that have a great impact on user expectations. Libraries can adopt some of these methods, for example location aware services. You can register your library and its locations in Google Places and integrate Google Maps into the mobile website. So it’s possible to find the location of a branch library and get the information how to get there from the place you are at this moment.  Another interesting technology is QR-codes in order to link from a print information to the virtual world.

Creating a mobile version of the library’s homepage seems very important to me. If you create one you have to consider some special requirements. Reduce the information as much as possible. Mobile users don’t want to browse and scroll through a lot of background information. They are interested in opening hours, locations and maybe news from the library. At ETH-Bibliothek we added a list with mobile websites of publishers (mobile friendly resources) and mobile versions of its presence on social networks to these basic informations. And like mentioned above, the main function is that of a fully integrated mobile catalogue. See also my blog post in German.

Finally I also mentioned ebooks and how they can be used with mobile devices. In academic libraries where PDF is the format in which ebooks are offered, only tablets and notebooks can be recommended for mobile access. Tablets give also the opportunity to work with these documents (for example with GoodReader on the iPad). But on smartphones and e-reader documents in PDF format are not really user friendly. For these small screens you needed ebooks in EPUB format, but these are hardly available with academic content.