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The Creative Economy Forum is calling for a new body to regulate IP law in the UK to restore and maintain balance. From its July 20 press release:
Britain should set up a new body to regulate intellectual property in the public interest, according to the Creative Economy Forum. The body should be set up by statute and modelled on industry regulators such as OfCom. Its task would be to ensure intellectual property laws serve the public interest by encouraging more creativity and innovation. It would follow the principles of the RSA Adelphi Charter on Creativity, Innovation and Intellectual Property....
In Who Owns the Law, John Howkins elaborates on the call for IP balance in the UK and annotates the relevant provisions of the Adelphi Charter. Excerpt:
7. Government must facilitate a wide range of policies to stimulate access and innovation, including non-proprietary models such as open source software licensing and open access to scientific literature.
The ALPSP has issued a press release on the new RCUK OA policy. Excerpt:
ALPSP is glad to see the long-awaited RCUK position statement on access to research outputs, and welcomes many aspects of the statement.
Michael Mabe, (Electronic) journal publishing, The UKSG E-Resources Management Handbook, vol. 1, 2006. Excerpt:
Despite all these gains, the move to digital forms of article creation and delivery has introduced challenges that no one could have anticipated. Versions of articles are proliferating. The final published versions in print are not necessarily the same as those available online. Articles are being made available earlier without page numbers, making citation problematical. What exactly is the definitive version of an article, where can it be found and what counts as the official publication date? How can a secure digital archive be created? Who should maintain it? How can it be financed? Should authors be allowed to put versions of their articles onto public web sites? If so, which version, and does it matter? None of these thorny issues existed in a pre-digital age, but they are fast becoming real practical obstacles to efficient scholarship rather than philosophical conundrums for debate at library and publishing conferences.
Eight major North American library associations have released their July 12 letter to Sen. Susan Collins in support of FRPAA. The letter will soon be online here and here. Meantime I'm quoting from a copy that John Ober sent as an attachment to the ScholComm list. Excerpt:
We write in strong support of the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006 (S. 2695)....S. 2695 would promote widespread, affordable, and effective dissemination of scientific and scholarly research results. For this reason, we encourage the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs to conduct hearings on S. 2695.
The organizations signing the letter are the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), American Library Association (ALA), Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL), Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), Medical Library Association (MLA), and the Special Libraries Association (SLA), and the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).
Update. The letter is now online.
The Andrea von Braun Foundation sponsored an unusual poetry competition associated with this year's Euroscience Open Forum (Munich, July 15-19, 2006). Eligible poems could address any topic covered by a session at the conference --including open access. For the outcome, let me turn you over to Alma Swan:
At the closing ceremony it was announced that Stevan Harnad had been awarded the prize for the best poem in English....There are no additional prizes for guessing what the topic is before you read it!
See Alma's post for the text of Stevan's poem, Publish or Perish.
PS: Double honors to Stevan. Congratulations on the prize (Stevan, we hardly knew ye) and deep thanks for the donation to the ATA, which was beyond the call.
Heather Morrison, Dramatic Growth: July 20th Brief Update, Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, July 21, 2006. Excerpt:
On June 30th, I reported that OAIster had grown by more than half a million records in the previous quarter, for a total of 7.6 million records, and predicted that OAIster would exceed a billion records sometime in 2007.
David Bollier, Is Hell Freezing Over? Bill Gates Embraces the Knowledge Commons, On the Commons, July 21, 2006. Excerpt:
The only story more newsworthy than “man bites dog” has got to be “Bill Gates champions open sharing and collaboration.” Yes, the high priest of proprietary software – whose company has ruthlessly used its copyrights and patents to stifle competitive and innovation – is now recognizing the virtues of the knowledge commons…. for AIDS research, at least....
Five central facilities will be established, including three laboratory networks for measuring the immune responses elicited by vaccine candidates, a research specimen repository, and a data and statistical management center. As a condition for receiving funding, the newly-funded vaccine discovery consortia have agreed to use the central facilities to test vaccine candidates, share information with other investigators, and compare results using standardized benchmarks....In addition, the grantees are developing global access plans to help ensure that their discoveries will be accessible and affordable for developing countries, where the vast majority of new HIV infections occur.
Also see Marilyn Chase, Gates Won't Fund AIDS Researchers Unless They Pool Data, Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2006 (accessible only to subscribers). Excerpt:
Comment. Kudos to the Gates Foundation. This is a big step forward, recognizing the truth that OA accelerates research and applying the principle that the more knowledge matters, the more OA to that knowledge matters. I have some questions about the program, but I expect that answers will emerge shortly. It's pretty clear that the Gates Foundation will host its own OA repository and require grantees to deposit their data in it. It appears that the requirement will apply only to data, not to articles published in peer-reviewed journals. I'd welcome clarification on that. I can't tell what steps the foundation will take, if any, to insure data interoperability. I can't tell whether the free online access will be universal, limited to developing countries, or some of each for different kinds of information. I'll blog more as I learn more.
Alma Swan has been elected to the Governing Board of Euroscience (the European Association for the Promotion of Science & Technology). Her election was announced at the Euroscience Open Forum 2006, which concluded in Munich yesterday. (BTW, the meeting had a important session on OA.) Alma is a biologist-turned-consultant on scholarly communication with a commitment to the advance of science and its communication. Her studies of open access for Key Perspectives are among the most important empirical studies of OA to date. Alma is also a member of Euroscience Working Group on Science Publishing (convened by Hélène Bosc). Congratulations, Alma!
Heather Morrison, A non-US non-UK perspective on OA (Open Access), in Heather Morrison (ed.), Proceedings Charleston Conference, 2004. Self-archived July 20, 2006.
Abstract: Open access is being talked about, and implemented, around the globe, by everyone from the U.N. to individual authors, editors, and publishers, and collaborative groups. As of October 2004, requests for a government mandate for OA had gone forward not only in the U.S. and the U.K., but also Croatia. The Scielo (Scientific Electronic Online) collections of Latin America are very substantial, fully open access journal collections. In the developing world, OA is seen not only as the best means to access the research results of others, but as an opportunity to contribute their own scholarly research findings. Outside the U.S. and the U.K., profits from scientific publishing are not common, and subsidies are not unusual. The author predicts that the present slow but steady growth in institutional repositories will be replaced in the near future by dramatic growth.
Peter Stogios and Karla Badger, As of yet, not all doors are Open Access, Hypothesis, May 2006. A report on the University of Toronto's Workshop on Open Access Journals (March 9, 2006). Excerpt:
Michael Cross, Public data drives public debate, The Guardian, July 20, 2006. Excerpt:
Subiah Arunachalam, Open access - current developments in India, in Proceedings Berlin 4 Open Access: From Promise to Practice, Max-Planck-Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) Potsdam-Golm, 2006. Self-archived July 19, 2006.
This is the text of an invited presentation (9 pages long) given at the Berlin 4 Open Access Conference, March 29th-March 31st, 2006, Albert Einstein Institute, Potsdam (near Berlin). Abstract: India, the second most populous nation in the world, is emerging as an important player in the world economy and geopolitics. In the nearly six decades since Independence, India has made considerable progress. A number of leading corporations, especially in the areas of automobiles, information technology and chemicals, have set up shop in India for manufacturing, business process outsourcing and R&D. Advanced countries look at India as a huge market to be tapped and a reservoir of English-speaking workforce that can be hired at a fraction of the cost they pay as wages in their home countries. About a million people work in software industry alone. And now India is increasingly looked up to for outsourcing R&D. In the past few months, many heads of states and governments – including President Bush - came calling and President Bush even spoke about the rather sensitive subject of cooperation in nuclear energy. Both the Vice chancellor of Oxford in the UK, the Rt Hon Chris Patten and the President of Harvard University Lawrence Summers in the US visited India recently and are keen to set up centres of excellence devoted to Indian studies. Indeed Harvard is planning to institute a dozen chairs in the new centre. Despite a long history of science, scholarship and philosophical inquiry dating back to millennia before the emergence of modern European civilization, India is struggling to keep pace with the West in science and technology. Although there are about 300 universities, and about the same number of government funded research laboratories under agencies such as the Departments of Atomic Energy and Space and the 1 Ministries of Defence, Agriculture, Science & Technology, and Ocean Development, India’s research output in science and technology, as seen from the Web of Science, is barely 2.5% of the world’s journal literature. What is more, in none of the subjects Indian papers on the whole are cited as often as the world average. It will not be wrong to conclude that India is contributing to growth of knowledge in the sciences sub-optimally. There is a crying need for strengthening higher education (and, indeed, education at all levels) and promoting excellence and innovation in research. India is investing millions of dollars to set up three institutions of excellence in science on the lines of the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and six world class medical colleges and hospitals of the quality of the All India Institute of Medical sciences in underserved regions.
R. Prasad, Open access to research papers gets a boost, The Hindu, July 20, 2006. Excerpt:
Of what use are papers if they get locked up and are not widely and freely available? More so, if the research has been funded by the government. Despair not. A paradigm shift is happening in the way research findings that get published in any journal — subscription based or otherwise, become available. A bill tabled in the United States Senate — Federal research Public Access Act of 2006 — when passed, will enable federally funded research work that gets published in subscription journals to become freely and widely available to anybody....
The European University Association (EUA) has created an Ad Hoc Working Group on Open Access. (Thanks to Eloy Rodrigues.) From the EAU announcement (July 10, 2006):
In response to the growing interest in the issue of Open Access to Research Publications, a meeting was held 29 June to bring together EUA Council Members who had expressed a strong interest in the subject to discuss future actions. The meeting aimed to review the involvement of National Rectors’ Conferences in current developments on the issue and to consider what complementary role and actions EUA could take at European level to ensure universities’ interests are represented in the ongoing debate. Additionally, the authors (Françoise Vandooren and Mathias Dewatripont, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium) of the recent report “Study on the economic and technical evolution of the scientific publication markets in Europe”, undertaken for the European Commission Directorate General for Research, were invited to present their findings and recommendations to the meeting.
PS: The group doesn't seem to have a web site yet. But when it does, I'll blog it.
Diane H. Sonnenwald, Challenges in sharing information effectively: examples from command and control, Information Research, July 2006. Abstract:
Introduction. The goal of information sharing is to change a person's image of the world and to develop a shared working understanding. It is an essential component of collaboration. This paper examines barriers to sharing information effectively in dynamic group work situations.
PS: I like the way Sonnenwald shows that effective sharing is more complicated and difficult than access. An implicit premise, however, is that access is a necessary condition of effective sharing.
Stephan Arndt, Open access and article processing charges, Substance Abuse, Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, July 17, 2006. An editorial in the inaugural issue of a new OA journal from BMC. Excerpt:
Substance Abuse, Treatment, Prevention, and Policy uses a medium that provides the broadest possible worldwide readership. Articles can be freely read by anyone in the world without charge. Since the articles published here will hopefully help inform policy this is exactly the right target.
RSA debate considers access to geographic information, a press release from the UK Ordnance Survey, July 19, 2006. The RSA is the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce --not the same as the Royal Society, which publishes scholarly journals. Excerpt:
Ordnance Survey was represented at a high-profile public debate on public sector information this week. Director General and Chief Executive Vanessa Lawrence was a panel member at the RSA lecture, Free our data: should public sector information be available to all for the cost of reproduction?
A testimonial from the anonymous author of the Toronto Food Blog:
Deloitte & Touche has published a new report, The net benefit of digital publishing. It's free for downloading for users willing to register. (Thanks to ResourceShelf.) Excerpt:
Fee or Free....Publishers should no longer think of themselves as just content publishers. Rather they must see their content as a means of supporting revenue-generating brands.
Dorothea Salo, Journal Churn and Open Access, Caveat Lector, July 18, 2006. Excerpt:
Mark Chillingworth, Elsevier sponsors a more open-access article model, Information World Review, July 19, 2006. Excerpt:
Nuclear physics authors can opt to pay for their articles to be published in six physics journals published by Elsevier under a new Sponsored Articles scheme which the company insists is very different from open access.
Sandy Kleffman, Biotech industry no longer has to share stem-cell research, Contra Costa Times, July 14, 2006. (Thanks to Faster Cures' SmartBrief.) Excerpt:
Stephen Carson, OpenCourseWare Grows into a Movement, Open Educational Resources Newsletter, Summer 2006 (scroll to the fourth story).
An OpenCourseWare is a free and open digital publication of high quality teaching materials, organized as courses. The mission of the OpenCourseWare Consortium is to advance education and empower people worldwide through opencourseware.
Clarice Audrey, Cuttings, The Lancet, July 8, 2006 (free registration required). (Thanks to George Porter.) Excerpt:
Perhaps the most extraordinary result [among the 2005 impact factors for medical journals] is that of LoSP [sic] Medicine. They have come in at 8.4 in their first year, hot on the heels of the BMJ. Whatever one’s views about open access, the performance of oSPL [sic] Medicine is remarkable and a tribute to the seriousness of the SLoP [sic] concept.
PS: What happened to proof-reading at The Lancet?
Most of the chapters in Neil Jacobs' anthology, Open Access: Key strategic, technical and economic aspects (Chandos Publishing 2006) have been self-archived by their authors and Steve Hitcock has done real service in collecting the URLs in one place. (Thanks, Steve!) Excerpt from his blog announcement:
Here is the chapter list:
The July issue of Learned Publishing is now online. Here are the OA-related articles. Only abstracts are free online, at least so far.
PS: On my fast internet connection, the link to the TOC timed out 10 times before I finally got through. The individual article/abstract links timed out every time and I still haven't been able to get through. I've had to guess from their titles which articles are OA-related.
Open Medicine is the new OA journal being launched by the former editors of the Canadian Medical Association Journal. From the site:
Open Medicine is a Canadian health and clinical medicine journal dedicated to furthering integrity, independence, and open access in scholarly publishing. Through research, reviews, practice pieces, news, policy, ethics and humanities, Open Medicine serves international researchers, policy-makers, practitioners and the public in furthering an understanding of health and health care, improving clinical practice, and encouraging open discussion and dialogue on all health-related issues.
OM will use CC attribution licenses.
Open Words: Access and English Studies is a new peer-reviewed, OA journal whose inagural issue (Fall 2006) is now online. The words open and access in the title refer to open admissions, not to OA in our sense, though the journal itself is OA. It's apparently produced by the English Department at the University of Akron and sponsored (but not published) by Prentice-Hall.
Earlier this month Michael May announced that nine major works by Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan were now OA at the dLIST repository. In a SOAF posting today, May spells out the connection between Ranganathan's writing and OA:
One of Arun's [Subbiah Arunachalam's] many appeals for OA has found its way to a discussion list on the study of the Ancient Near East, where it has stimulated a thread raising all the usual newcomer-questions. Experienced friends of OA who could join the conversation and answer the questions could help OA spread to this field. (Thanks to the Stoa Consortium.)
LivRe is a large portal of free online journals. From the announcement posted today to The Parachute:
Nuclear Information Center (Brazil) maintains a portal to easy the identification and access to free journals available on the Internet. It is the Portal LivRe! (Free!), nowadays registering 2,525 free journals. I am announcing the implementation of a multilanguage searching interface. LivRe! now can be accessed in Portuguese, English and Spanish....
Z. Dezsö and five co-authors, Dynamics of information access on the web, Physical Review E, June 30, 2006. Only the abstract of the published version is free online, but the preprint is OA at arXiv. (Thanks to the PLoS blog.)
While current studies on complex networks focus on systems that change relatively slowly in time, the structure of the most visited regions of the web is altered at the time scale from hours to days. Here we investigate the dynamics of visitation of a major news portal, representing the prototype for such a rapidly evolving network. The nodes of the network can be classified into stable nodes, which form the time-independent skeleton of the portal, and news documents. The visitations of the two node classes are markedly different, the skeleton acquiring visits at a constant rate, while a news document's visitation peaks after a few hours. We find that the visitation pattern of a news document decays as a power law, in contrast with the exponential prediction provided by simple models of site visitation. This is rooted in the inhomogeneous nature of the browsing pattern characterizing individual users: the time interval between consecutive visits by the same user to the site follows a power-law distribution, in contrast to the exponential expected for Poisson processes. We show that the exponent characterizing the individual user's browsing patterns determines the power-law decay in a document's visitation. Finally, our results document the fleeting quality of news and events: while fifteen minutes of fame is still an exaggeration in the online media, we find that access to most news items significantly decays after 36 hours of posting.
Comment. This paper studies visits to news sites, where the decay in user demand is very rapid. I'd like to see someone study the decay rates for peer-reviewed articles in different disciplines. (Publishers undoubtedly have the relevant data but I haven't see a systematic cross-disciplinary collection and comparison.) I suspect that we'd find a wide range, with faster decay rates in the sciences than the humanities. I also suspect that citation curves would track the decay curves, starting after some lag time and declining with a gentler slope. Studying the decay rates would help us predict citations and determine when, strictly by the standard of publisher revenues, embargoes are too short (opening access before the demand has spiked) or needlessly long (blocking access after the demand has spiked). Even with good data on decay rates, however, it would not follow that a funding agency setting a maximum embargo for its OA policy should give top priority to publisher revenue. But good data would help evaluate publisher objections to proposed embargo periods.
Alfred D. Eaton, HubMed: a web-based biomedical literature search interface, Nucleic Acids Research, 34 (2006), special Web Server issue.
Abstract: HubMed is an alternative search interface to the PubMed database of biomedical literature, incorporating external web services and providing functions to improve the efficiency of literature search, browsing and retrieval. Users can create and visualize clusters of related articles, export citation data in multiple formats, receive daily updates of publications in their areas of interest, navigate links to full text and other related resources, retrieve data from formatted bibliography lists, navigate citation links and store annotated metadata for articles of interest. HubMed is freely available [here].
The University of California is the SPARC Innovator for July 2006. From the SPARC announcement:
The University of California Office of the President (UCOP) launched the UC Office of Scholarly Communication in 2004 to support and coordinate a plethora of diverse, cutting-edge initiatives that help scholars and researchers regain control of their work, while exploring innovative means of scholarly communication. This simple organizational act represented the culmination of work conducted over a ten-year period by UC administrators, faculty, and librarians who took a focused, activist stance to change the status quo. In the late 1990s, for example, UC initiated the California Digital Library and as part of it, the eScholarship repository. Since then it has moved from strength to strength. For example, it has developed groundbreaking contracts with publishers which have helped to curtail hyperinflation in the price of online journal subscriptions; developed guidance for faculty on ways to manage intellectual property and retain copyright; developed, through the academic faculty senate, a series of white papers advocating shifts in scholarly communication; established innovative new scholarly publishing programs and forged an electronic publishing alliance between the CDL and the University of California Press; and created a Scholarly Communication Officers group comprising senior librarians at each of the 10 UC branches to harmonize local and system-wide planning and action. For its extraordinarily effective institution-wide vision and efforts to move scholarly communication forward for the benefit of its faculty, students, and the public, SPARC has named UC a SPARC Innovator....
The U.S. Commission on the Future of Higher Education has released the second draft (July 14) of its report and recommendations on US higher education. The first draft came out on June 22.
Neither draft says anything about open access to research literature, though the second draft contains an endorsement of open courseware (p. 16) missing from the first:
The Commission encourages the creation of incentives to catalyze the development of open-source and open-content projects at universities and colleges across the United States, enabling the open sharing of educational materials from a variety of institutions, disciplines, and educational perspectives. Such a portal could stimulate innovation, and serve as the leading resource for teaching and learning. New paradigms manifested in initiatives such as OpenCourseWare, the Open Knowledge Initiative, the Sakai Project, and the Google Book project hold out the potential of providing universal access to both knowledge and higher education.
Note that even the second draft is for "for discussion purposes only" and is not final.
Update. The third draft came out on August 3, 2006, and doesn't mention OA either. The open-source/open-content recommendation above survives unchanged.
Michael Kenward, Debate widens on open access, Science Business, July 17, 2006. A short note on the new RCUK policy.
Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork have announced that they will collaborate on a range of research projects including institutional repositories. It's not clear whether they will build a consortial repository or simply swap tips and tools for separate repositories.
Kelly Sears Smith, Behind Closed Doors: Should Professional Lists Give Public Access? Dream Tree, July 16, 2006. Excerpt:
A professional online discussion forum of which I'm a longtime member is in the midst of a serious conversation about whether or not the membership accepts being indexed by a service that will make our posts googlable. For one, the service that indexed our listserv did not request permission, which is a clear breach of courtesy. For another, some list members have confessed they are rather freer on the list, given that people must join to participate and read, than they might be elsewhere on the web. Those who are concerned about unwanted internet exposure have expressed a variety of reasons for this concern, including  cyberstalkers,  unwanted exposure of their views to employers, colleagues, students, personal acquaintances,  use of sig file and other info for spamming,  possible exposure to government surveillance.
Michael J. Madison, The Idea of the Law Review: Scholarship, Prestige, and Open Access, a preprint forthcoming from the Lewis & Clark Law Review. (Thanks to Michel-Adrien Sheppard.)
Abstract: This Essay was written as part of a Symposium on open access publishing for legal scholarship. It makes the claim that open access publishing models will succeed, or not, to the extent that they account for the existing "economy of prestige" that drives law reviews and legal scholarship. What may seem like a lot of uncharitable commentary is intended instead as an expression of guarded optimism: Imaginative reuse of some existing tools of scholarly publishing (even by some marginalized members of the prestige economy – or perhaps especially by them) may facilitate the emergence of a viable open access norm.
Tracey Caldwell, Microsoft hands copyright control over to publishers, Information World Review, July 17, 2006. Excerpt:
Microsoft has moved further into searching copyright material with its Windows Live Books Publisher Program. Launched in May, the program will be expanded within the coming weeks to accept submissions in digital form, in addition to the print material currently being processed. This follows Microsoft’s recent move into searching copyrighted content within journals with the Windows Live Academic Search service.
Sharon Reeves, John Hagen, and Christine Jewell, Unlocking Scholarly Access: ETDs, Institutional Repositories and Creators: Highlights of ETD 2006, the 9th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations, a preprint forthcoming in Library Hi Tech News, August 2006. Excerpt:
The conference was organized around four tracks: open access, open source, intellectual property and institutional repositories....
Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Introducing MediaCommons, if:book, July 17, 2006. Excerpt:
I've got the somewhat daunting pleasure of introducing the readers of if:book to one of the Institute's projects-in-progress, MediaCommons.
Theses unbound: consultation on a national e-theses service for the UK, an announcement from JISC, July 17, 2006:
The UK currently lacks a coherent national service to support access to, and preservation of, electronic PhD theses. At present, PhD theses are discovered by potential users in a variety of more or less ad hoc ways, and delivered to those users largely by physical document delivery. It is widely recognised that PhD theses are an under-exploited research resource, and that when they are made available electronically, their use increases substantially.
Kayvan Kousha and Mike Thelwall, Google Scholar Citations and Google Web/URL Citations: A Multi-Discipline Exploratory Analysis, in Proceedings International Workshop on Webometrics, Informetrics and Scientometrics & Seventh COLLNET Meeting, Nancy (France), 2006. A Web/URL citation is a reference that spells out an article's URL.
Abstract: In this paper we introduce a new data gathering method “Web/URL Citation” and use it and Google Scholar as a basis to compare traditional and Web-based citation patterns across multiple disciplines. For this, we built a sample of 1,650 articles from 108 Open Access (OA) journals published in 2001 in four science and four social science disciplines. We recorded the number of citations to the sample articles using several methods based upon the ISI Web of Science, Google Scholar and the Google search engine (Web/URL citations). For each discipline, we found significant correlations between ISI citations and both Google Scholar and Google Web/URL citations; with similar results when using total or average citations, and when comparing within and across (most) journals. We also investigated disciplinary differences. Google Scholar citations were more numerous than ISI citations in our four social science disciplines as well as in computer science, suggesting that Google Scholar is a more comprehensive tool for citation tracking in the social sciences and perhaps also in fast-moving fields where conference papers are highly valued and published online. The results for Web/URL citations suggested that counting a maximum of one hit per site produces a better measure for assessing the impact of OA journals or articles, because replicated web citations are very common within individual sites. The results can be considered as additional evidence that there is some commonality between traditional and Web-extracted citations.
Joe Chavez, Spitzer science archive interface, International Society for Optical Engineering, June 30, 2006.
Abstract: The Spitzer Science Center (SSC) provides a set of user tools to support search and retrieval of Spitzer Science Archive (SSA) data via the Internet. This paper will present the system architecture and design principles that support the Archive Interface subsystem of the SSA. The Archive Interface is an extension of the core components of the Uplink subsystem and provides a set Web services to allow open access to the SSA data set. Web services technology provides a basis for searching the archive and retrieving data products. The Archive Interface provides three modes of access: a rich client, Web browser and scripts (via Web services). The rich client allows the user to perform complex queries and submit requests for data that is asynchronously downloaded to the local workstation. Asynchronous download is a critical feature given the large volume of a typical data set (on the order of 40 Gigabytes). For basic queries and retrieval of data the Web browser interface is provided. For advanced users scripting languages with Web services capabilities (i.e. Perl) can used to query and download data from the SSA. The archive interface subsystem is the primary means for searching and retrieving data from the SSA and is critical to the success of the Spitzer Space Telescope.