Wiley has introduced a new security feature for access to articles through Wiley
Online Library. This is in order to prevent systematic downloads of content and also to thwart hackers from creating other security risks for both library and vendor.
You may have encountered CAPTCHA challenge (see graphic below) after completing a poll, leaving a blog comment, or purchasing tickets from a website. This is a speed bump to deter bot traffic, by creating tests only humans can pass. If you are interested in additional information regarding CAPTCHA, feel free to visit their website at www.captcha.net.
What does this mean for you? Previously, the only security measure in place was to limit downloads to one-hundred articles per session. Wiley's new practice will require a user downloading more than twenty-five articles in an active user session, (a session of activity that a user from within your IP range spends on Wiley Online Library) to complete a CAPTCHA challenge, like this one:
Once the user enters the CAPTCHA information, the download request completes
and the user is cleared to continue downloading in increments of twenty-five, up to
one hundred in a twenty-four hour period.
Wiley understands and is committed to providing easily accessible information for your patrons. We also realize that this may seem like a hindrance for ease of access to our content. Nevertheless, this has become an essential security measure that we must take to protect both parties. Again, the only patrons affected will be those who try to access more than twenty five articles per session. Upon successful completion of the CAPTCHA test, they will be granted all the access to the content they wish.
If you have any questions, concerns or comments, please send them to EAL@wiley.com.
The Elastic Ruler: Measuring Scholarly Use of Digital Collections (from Duke University Libraries)
Our Digital Collections program aspires to build “distinctive digital collections that provide access to Duke’s unique library and archival materials for teaching, learning, and research at Duke and worldwide.” Those are our primary stated objectives, though the reach and the value of putting collections online extends far beyond. For instance, these uses might not qualify as scholarly, but we celebrate them all the same:
Regardless of how much value we assign to different kinds of uses, determining the impact of our work is a hard problem to solve. There are no simple instruments to measure our outcomes, and the measurements we do take can at times feel uncertain, as if taken of a moving object with a wildly elastic ruler. Some helpful resources are out there, of both theoretical and practical varieties, but focusing on what matters most remains a challenge.
Back to our mission: how much are our collections actually used for the scholarly purposes we trumpet–teaching, learning, and research–versus other more casual uses? How do we distinguish these uses within the data we collect? Getting clearer answers could help us in several areas. First, what should we even digitize? What compelling stories of user engagement could be told to illustrate the value of the collections? How might we drum up more interest in the collections within scholarly communities?
Some of my Duke colleagues and I began exploring these questions this year in depth. We’ll have much more to report later, but already our work has uncovered some bits of interest to share. And, of course, we’ve unearthed more questions than answers.
Like many places, we use a service called Google Analytics to track how much our collections are accessed. We use analytics to understand what kinds of things that we digitize resonate with users online, and to to help us make informed improvements to the website.Google doesn’t track any personally identifiable data (thankfully); data is aggregated to a degree where privacy is protected yet site owners can still see generally where their traffic comes from.
For example, we know that on average1, our site visitors view just over 5 pages/visit, and stay for about 3.5 minutes. 60.3% of visitors bounce (that is, leave after seeing only one page). Mobile devices account for 20.1% of traffic. Over 26% of visits come from outside the U.S. The most common way a visit originates is via search engine (37.5%), and social media traffic—especially from Facebook—is quite significant (15.7% of visits). The data is vast; the opportunities for slicing and dicing it seem infinite. And we’ll forever grapple with how best to track, interpret, report, and respond to the things that are most meaningful to us.
There are two bits of Analytics data that can provide us with clues about our collections’ use in scholarly environments:
Traffic on scholarly networks (a filtered view of ISPs)
Referrals from scholarly pages (a filtered view of Referrer paths)
Tracking these figures (however imperfect) could help us get a better sense for the trends in the tenor of our audience, and help us set goals for any outreach efforts we undertake.
Traffic on Scholarly Networks
One key clue for scholarly use is the name of visitors’ Internet Service Provider (ISP). For example, a visit from somewhere on Duke’s campus has an ISP “duke university,” a NYC public school “new york city public schools,” and McGill University (in Canada) “mcgill university.” Of course, plenty of scholarly work gets done off-campus (where an ISP is likely Time Warner, Verizon, AT&T, etc.), and not all network traffic that happens on a campus is actually for scholarly purposes. So there are the usual caveats about signal and noise within the data.
Alas, we know that over the past calendar year1, we had:
11.7% of our visits (“sessions”) from visitors on a scholarly network (as defined in our filters by: ISP name has universit*, college*, or school* in it)2.
74,724 visits via scholarly networks
4,121 unique scholarly network ISPs
Referrals from Course Websites or Online Syllabi on .Edu Sites
Are our collections used for teaching and learning? How much can we tell simply through web analytics?
A referral happens when someone gets to our site by following a link from another site. In our data, we can see the full web address of any referring pages. But can we infer from a site URL whether a site was a course website or an online syllabus–pages that’d link to our site for the express purpose of teaching? We can try.
In the past year, referrals filtered by an expression3 to isolate course sites and syllabi on .Edu sites
It’s hard to confidently assert that this data is accurate, and indeed many of the pages can’t be verified because they’re only accessible to the students in those classes. But regardless, a look at the data through this lens does occasionally help discover real uses for actual courses and/or generate leads for contacting instructors about the ways they’ve used the collections in their curriculum.
We know web analytics are just a single tool in a giant toolbox for determining how much our collections are contributing to teaching, learning, and research. One technique we’ve tried is using Google Scholar to track citations of collections, then logged and tagged those citations using Delicious. For instance, here are 70 scholarly citations for ourAd*Access collection. Among the citations are 30 articles, 19 books, and 10 theses. 26 sources cited something from the collection as a primary source. This technique is powerful and illuminates some interesting uses. But it unfortunately takes a lot of time to do well.
We’ve also recently launched a survey on our website that gathers some basic information from visitors about how they’re using the collections. And we have done some outreach with instructors at Duke and beyond. Stay tuned for much more as we explore the data. In the meantime, we would love to hear from others in the field how you approach answering these very same questions.
Data from July 1, 2014 – June 26, 2015.
We had first looked at isolating scholarly networks by narrowing to ISP network domains ending in “.edu” but upon digging further, there are two reasons why the ISP name provides better data. 1) .EDUs are only granted to accredited postsecondary institutions in the U.S., so visits from international universities or middle/high schools wouldn’t count. 2) A full 24% of all our visits have unknowable ISP network domains: “(not set)” or “unknown.unknown,” whereas only 6.3% of visits have unknown ISP names.
Full referrer path: blackboard|sakai|moodle|webct|schoology|^bb|learn|course|isites|syllabus|classroom|^class.|/class/|^classes.|/~CLASS/
The people who brought DVDs into the world could never even agree on what the letters should stand for. It was initially suggested by some that they should stand for “Digital Video Disc,” while others behind the technology felt that “Digital Versatile Disc” would better reflect the many non-video applications of the development. Ultimately, the official position of the DVD Forum, the consortium of companies with ownership of the technology, is that DVD “stands for nothing.”
It’s a fitting acronym, then, for a technology so quickly fading into insignificance. DVD is on its way out. Twenty years after its invention, it’s rare to find new releases of DVDs that aren’t bundled with a Blu-ray of the same content. While new machines—PlayStations, Xboxes, etc.—will still play DVDs, thanks solely to the Blu-ray innovation of using the same equipment to maintain playability for the outdated format, it’s a disappearing medium, already halfway to the same graveyard that has claimed Betamax, VHS, Laserdisc, and HD-DVDs.
The popular understanding of the disappearance of the DVD is simple, and probably accurate: Digital storage technology is rendering hard copies of software and content obsolete. Being able to keep your music, movies, games, and books in your hardware system—or better yet, the cloud—is creating a concomitant desire to be done with yet another bulky material object. Obviously, fetishists for material goods will maintain the survival, however minimal, of the format. Just as there are those who celebrate the retro pleasures of vinyl or the cassette tape, there will be a home for DVD, even as Blu-ray eventually follows it to oblivion in the popular marketplace. The internet’s ability to keep everything online has stoked a fantasy of being able to contain all of our entertainment and arts in the digital netherworld, perpetually at our fingertips.
The irony lies in the fact that the internet isn’t merely the assassin of the DVD, but the progenitor, as well. Whatever their historical assessment, DVDs are primarily known for ushering in the era of bonus content. When people shop for DVDs in the store, often the first thing done is to flip the box around to see what special features the discs have to offer. A feature-length commentary track very quickly became de rigueur for the vast majority of home video releases. Interviews, outtakes, bloopers, alternate or extended scenes—these are all expected aspects of any film release, now. And none of them would have even been a consideration for inclusion in the ’80s. But by the end of the millennium, bonus features were almost the primary reason to buy DVDs. Entertainment Weekly’s review of the Fight Club release found the extra content so good, it named it the number-one must-own film in the format. (To be fair, some of that content is still pretty cool, even today: Fake MPAA screens and a faux-Fight Club merchandise catalog are clever no matter the year.)
That shift in expectations is due in large part to the single most significant invention of the last 50 years, and arguably in most of human history: the internet. When the World Wide Web started its march to ubiquity in the late ’80s and early ’90s, it allowed vast amounts of content to be available in the home of anyone who could afford a computer and a phone line. This was a massive transition from content storage in places with the space to handle it, like libraries, into the digital aether, available to anyone, anywhere, who could access it.
With that overwhelming influx of information and culture came the attendant desire to demand more from traditional outlets of entertainment. Now that anyone could access the news, stories, and information behind their favorite popular culture, it was incumbent upon the entertainment industry to find a way to deliver that content. And despite the fact that the home movie marketplace had barely existed for 10 years, it was a logical place from which to deliver more. Now that people could easily see bonus footage of, say, the stars of Evita gathering to record the soundtrack in England, that overflow of online content meant that movies purchased for the home began to carry the expectations of something more, as well.
The DVD was the result of that desire. A format that took the earlier technological innovation of CD-ROMs, but added five to 10 times the storage capacity, meant that VHS tapes, CDs, and the like could be improved upon in spades. A game or film that previously took multiple discs to store could now be housed in one single disc.
That space meant there was not only a desire for more content, but a means to deliver it. In November 1995, when the first DVD development was announced in a joint program between Sony and Phillips, it was immediately obvious that the discs would be able to hold more than just a movie. What to do with all that space? Like all innovations, it began with simplistic additions: menu screens to control subtitles, sound, picture, and the like. Soon, it was reasoned that viewers of movies might also like cast and crew bios, or lists of other movies they had been in—essentially sticking their IMDB page on a static screen that could be accessed via remote.
These developments quickly snowballed, resulting in content of a wide-ranging and multi various sort. Featurettes on everything from pre-production to release marketing to fan reaction are now a normal part of home video. Even digital copies of movies, which began life with the notable handicap of lacking these sorts of bonus features accompanying DVDs and Blu-rays, quickly caught on to the proven track record of extra content in appealing to consumers. Reviewers and fans will deride the much-scorned “bare bones” releases of films, and urge people to wait for the inevitable “special edition”—or at least the edition that includes a few minutes of the cast and crew discussing the “making of” the movie.
Indeed, the Criterion Collection, long the gold standard for film releases on DVD and Blu-ray, earned its reputation largely on the back of its dedication to the most extensive and cineaste-friendly bonus content. Much as theater owners look at better sound systems, 3-D technology, or Imax as a form of extra enticement for moviegoers to forego their increasingly sophisticated home systems, so too has bonus content been a way for the home video market to tempt people into purchasing TV shows and films they might otherwise refrain from purchasing.
In fact, the name for all these additional features is now somewhat of a misnomer. Bonus content long ago stopped being a “bonus” for consumers. It’s a requirement, as fundamental to the product as the toy inside a Happy Meal box. Few people would consider a “bare bones” edition of a movie to be an acceptable home video release. Fewer still would consider such a product worthwhile, though enough consumers still love being the first to own something—enough to make the continued production of such releases commercially viable, anyway. Yet as ever more of those instant gratification customers turn to illegal downloading to satisfy their wants, the incentive to make such shoddy first-pressing releases dwindles.
The internet didn’t create the capitalist desire for additional content, any more than Woolworth’s created the desire for free tote bags with the purchase of $50 or more worth of goods. But what it did do was open the door to the technological and cultural incentives to make it happen. Living in a world where additional content, so to speak, could conceivably be available (to anyone with internet access) in perpetuity meant that the items of popular culture and art that we brought into our homes required similar inducement. CDs included bonus tracks; books began carrying chapters from the author’s next release; slapping a five-minute blooper reel onto every copy of Dumb And Dumber was the least anyone could do, if they wanted to make the DVD an appealing product.
Now the DVD breathes its last, with more and more people purchasing online copies of mainstream entertainment, while film aficionados choose the superior quality Blu-ray as the last guard of the old hard-copy formats. It’s worth remembering that the scientific innovation and subsequent cultural landscape that is burying the medium is the same one that spawned its defining quality—the something extra. If anything, the DVD will stand as perhaps the first example of a mass format created, nurtured, and ultimately rendered obsolete by the digital transformation of culture. Those who in the future treat the discs the way current fans of outdated mediums treat 8-tracks and reel-to-reel players may have different, more sentimental or fetishistic reasons for adapting it. As capitalism responds to the crisis of finite resources in a finite world by literally creating new space in which to produce and store content, the DVD will mark the passing of an era. Call it the “blow into the cartridge” generation: a tangible format that still required tangible care.