This is the page for the (as yet unnamed) project to create search tools for students assigned public domain texts for class, and promote the public domain and open educational resources (OERs).
- 1 Inspiration
- 2 Project Summary
- 3 Name
- 4 Databases to search
- 5 Search API
- 6 Output formats
- 7 End-user interfaces
- 8 Promoting it
- 9 Partners
- 10 Timeline
- Databases containing public domain or open-licensed texts that might be assigned in a (college) class (not run by us)
- Why college students? Because they buy their own books
- Why texts that might be assigned in class? Because students are already looking for these books, and we can save them money (built-in audience)
- API to search those databases and return results with a high signal-to-noise ratio for our purposes
- Social searching? ("x% of users who searched for 'moby dick' found this useful...")
- Why high signal-to-noise? We want to make this very easy to use (low barrier to entry)
- Scripts to format output for various formats and devices
- Read online, download, print
- Why various formats and devices? We want to make this very easy to use (low barrier to entry)
- End-user interfaces
- Web site, Facebook application, etc.
- Why various end-user interfaces? We want to make this very easy to use (low barrier to entry)
- Promotional campaign
- People need to know about this in order to use it!
Everything needs a catchy name. What's our idea?
Databases to search
What archives do we want to search?
- Must contain public domain or open-licensed texts that might be assigned in a (college) class
- The higher the signal-to-noise ratio, the better
- How many books?
- License? (iirc PG's license isn't quite PD...)
The Gutenberg license basically says you cannot alter the ebook if you redistribute for free should you use their PG trademark with a PD title. They also have copyrighted titles (which are marked as such) which you cannot redistribute without permission. For more, see here.
- API for searching?
I contacted the site admin once about this for adding that to a book inventory system but never received a response, if I remember correctly, things could be different now. Scripting their own search forms should not be too difficult but asking would probably be nicer...
- Should we just store a copy of every book? We can figure that out later.
- Existing code for making books look nice?
I think the concern was that not all of their links were good. additionally, a good part of their archive is from project guttenberg, so there'd be an overlap (somewhat annoying). however, if they have books project guttenberg does, but from another source, that's a good thing, and makes it more likely that they're going to have the stuff students are looking for.
a small political consideration: linda frueh at the IA was very excited about the program, and it might seem rude to design a whole program that they really like yet exclude their archive
Audiobooks (human readings)
- Plain text
- Other formats?
- CSS media-type: print?
Audio recording of computer reading (vocoder)
- Would this be useful?
- I don't think so. (Who wants to listen to a vocoder for multiple hours?) But we could include open-licensed audio recordings of human readings in the databases we search. --Gavin 02:56, 23 July 2007 (JST)
Brendan made a mockup. If it was online, we could link to it!
Plug-in to online course management systems
- Online outreach
- Media outreach
- Chapters & campus outreach
- Student PIRGs could use this tool in their arsenal in their pro-OER activities
- almost certainly would offer server space
- might be interested in some form of collaboration
What needs to be done? Who will do it when?
What will happen to the project in one year's time? (If the answer is "No plans (yet)" that's fine, but we still should think about this.)