others to use and analyze active databases that allow scientists to deposit the output of their individual work and community data initiatives, which harness efforts of the general public to create data for researchers. An example of a community data initiative is eBird, which, by collecting the recorded observations made by amateur bird-watchers, has been able to develop a large set of data regarding bird sightings that is valuable both to the scientific research community and to nonacademic parties interested in avian migration patterns. Many of the data projects in this sample are supported by grants from foundations or government sources. For example, the Protein Data Bank has been able to sustain itself through a series of grants, in large part due to the prominence and importance of the resource to the scientific community. One of the founders noted, “Last time we counted, we had 16 different grants worldwide to fund this thing 8–9 in the US from different agencies.” Because of the unpredictability of the revenue stream and the labor involved in monitoring and applying for so many grants, project leadership feels this model is not ideal, and has begun discussions about other sustainability options to pursue.3 Many data projects also receive some kind of support from their home institutions and some, though not many, have tried advertising or corporate sponsorship. Chemspider offers ads on its home page, as well as “compound- based advertising,” which allows advertisers to display ads in proximity to materials relevant to the products being advertised. Similarly, eBird has a corporate sponsor in Zeiss, a manufacturer of the optic devices that birders use. Blogs (15 resources) The study turned up blogs across many disciplines. Faculty reported reading them daily or weekly to learn about new works and events in their field. Some blogs, like RealClimate, alert readers to new and interesting research and events in their community and field while adding a layer of commentary on top of the news. Blogs can add value to resources focused on other sources of content, like e-only journals or encyclopedias at least 29 other resources from the sample include blogs as a supplemental form of content. Some blogs provide a vehicle for conversation among scholars in a particular field or specialty. The scholars who created PEA Soup, a blog focused on philosophy and ethics, were eager to create a space to work through ideas informally with colleagues, “the electronic equivalent of walking down the hall to talk to your colleague, but with people all over the country and world,” said one of PEA Soup’s founders. RLI 263 16 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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