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Weekly News Digest

February 1, 2010 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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CERN Library Publishes Its Book Catalog as Open Data

Librarians are, in general, very favorable to the principles of Open Access. But surprisingly few libraries have so far set free the data they produce themselves. As one of the first scientific libraries in the world, the CERN Library now offers the bibliographic book records, held in its library catalog, to be freely downloaded by any third party. The records are provided under the Public Domain Data License, a license that permits colleagues around the world to reuse and upgrade the data for any purpose.

Jens Vigen, head of the CERN Library, says: "Books should only be catalogued once. Currently the public purse pays for having the same book catalogued over and over again. Librarians should act as they preach: data sets created through public funding should be made freely available to anyone interested. Open Access is natural for us, here at CERN we believe in openness and reuse. There is a tremendous potential. By getting academic libraries worldwide involved in this movement, it will lead to a natural atmosphere of sharing and reusing bibliographic data in a rich landscape of so-called mash-up services, where most of the actors who will be involved, both among the users and the providers, will not even be library users or librarians. Our action is made in the spirit of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities; bibliographic data belongs to the cultural heritage. All other signatories should align their policy accordingly."

The data of CERN Library will be used by the Open Library Project ( to provide a webpage for every book and to allow users to add content, such as tables of contents, classifications, and summaries.

For massive reuse of data, the data will be provided soon by an open Z39.50, SRU, and OAI interface via (, a repository of open bibliographic data.

The whole data set can be downloaded from

The press announcement is accompanied by a YouTube video that can be found at:

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its member states are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K. India, Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, the U.S., Turkey, the European Commission, and UNESCO have observer status.

Source: CERN Library

Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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