Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, and Annotated Content (24 resources) This category of new digital publication includes resources in all disciplines attempting to provide comprehensive, authoritative reference for a topic as well as resources that layer primary source material with definitive scholarly commentary. Most of the resources found through this field study are completely open access, although a few require some minimal level of registration for visitors. Perhaps the most innovative aspect is the use of user-generated content to populate some of these resources. Some, like the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, function as scholarly peer-reviewed sources, with articles written and reviewed by credentialed scholars in the field, finding online benefits largely in facilitating the editorial process, and speeding the revision of articles. Others are innovating by making use of the general public to develop data and other content that is then made available to scholars. Encyclopedia of Life describes itself as an “online reference and database” of information about Earth’s 1.8 million known species. It encourages contributions from the lay public but has a team of experts to authenticate and select the material that will ultimately appear in each entry. The digital environment also enables scholars to publish commentary and annotations around primary source content, making them richer forms of publication than simple libraries of digital images. Roman de la Rose Digital Library is a collection of digital surrogates of versions of that medieval illuminated text, whose originals are dispersed in special collections around the world. The project allows side-by-side comparisons of digitized manuscripts that would be impossible otherwise. In addition, scholars contributed to the development of metadata for these digital surrogates, based on different critical interpretations of this work. The digitized texts are therefore searchable based on criteria reflecting scholarly output—and the research enabled by these searches will lead to new scholarly conclusions not possible in an analog world. Data Resources (41 resources) The sciences were among the first fields to use technology to aggregate and share the results of research. There are several types of examples reported in this study: sites hosting the data output of a particular scientific endeavor for RLI 263 15 Digital Scholarly Communication: A Snapshot of Current Trends ( C O N T I N U E D ) APRIL 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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