2013 was a year of significant growth and development for HathiTrust. The partnership gained more than a dozen new partners, including two in Canada and one in Australia, and forged closer ties with emerging collaborations such as the Digital Public Library of America and the Digital Preservation Network. HathiTrust continued its work to open access to publications through copyright review, licenses from rights holders, and a new arrangement with Knowledge Unlatched. The Board appointed a new Program Steering Committee to carry forward partner initiatives and began a search for a new Executive Director to lead HathiTrust in its next phase. HathiTrust revolutionized opportunities for accessing and using its collections through the release of the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) and expanded access for users at partner institutions who have print disabilities. HathiTrust released Zephir, a new bibliographic management system developed by the University of California, and completed a major re-design of its web interfaces. A recap of these activities and more can be found in the review below.
14 institutions joined HathiTrust in 2013:
- Allegheny College
- Brown University
- Colby College
- Temple University
- Tufts University
- University of Alabama
- University of Alberta
- University of British Columbia
- University of Houston
- University of Massachusetts
- University of Oklahoma
- University of Queensland
- University of Tennessee, Knoxville
- Wake Forest University
HathiTrust partners contributed 278,766 volumes to the repository. 263,525 of these are in the public domain. Texas A&M University was a new contributor, bringing to 26 the total number of institutions contributing content to HathiTrust.
HathiTrust made significant progress in facilitating the deposit of locally-digitized content, including running a survey about partner ingest needs, hosting a conference call with interested partners, developing a single-image validation tool, and making plans to release a full-volume validation and remediation tool in early 2014.
Executive Director Search
The Board of Governors began a search for a new executive director following the departure of John Wilkin, HathiTrust’s founding executive director. The Board formed a search committee, and a job description was posted in August. The search committee reviewed applications, and held phone interviews through the fall and will be holding finalist in-person interviews in Ann Arbor, Michigan in January.
Print Disabilities Access
HathiTrust released a new service that allows designated proxies at partner institutions in the United States and Canada to provide access to in-copyright works in HathiTrust to users at their institutions who are certified as having a print disability. See http://www.hathitrust.org/accessibility for more information.
HathiTrust Bylaws Accepted
In early 2013, HathiTrust institutions voted unanimously to accept bylaws put forward by the Board of Governors.
HathiTrust and DPN
HathiTrust announced its intention to become a “replicating node” in the Digital Preservation Network (DPN). The full announcement can be read at http://www.hathitrust.org/hathitrust_dpn_announcement.
HathiTrust and Knowledge Unlatched
HathiTrust announced that it would be preserving and providing access to works made available through Knowledge Unlatched, an organization that is “helping stakeholders to work together for a sustainable open future for specialist scholarly books”. More information about Knowledge Unlatched is available at http://www.knowledgeunlatched.org/.
HathiTrust and DPLA
HathiTrust and the DPLA announced a formal partnership, with HathiTrust participating as a Content Hub. Details are available in the news release.
The HathiTrust website, including all Web applications, was updated with a unified design and feature set, improving the overall look and functionality of the site. Details are available at http://www.hathitrust.org/hathitrust_new_look.
HathiTrust appointed Jeremy York as Assistant Director.
Organization, Working Groups, and Committees
Board of Governors
The Board of Governors held in-person meetings in April and October, discussing a range of issues from the appointment of the Program Steering Committee and ballot initiatives passed at the Constitutional Convention, to issues arising from the passage of the bylaws, the HathiTrust Research Center, and the search for a new executive director.
Program Steering Committee
The HathiTrust Board of Governors appointed a Program Steering Committee. The PSC kicked off its work with an in-person meeting in September and held bi-weekly phone calls throughout the fall. In early 2014 the PSC expects to appoint a new Collections Committee and Rights and Access working group, and working groups to carry forward HathiTrust’s US Federal Government Documents and Shared Print Monograph Archive initiatives.
User Experience Advisory Group
The UX Advisory group welcomed new member Matt Morgan of NYPL. The group reviewed and worked to prioritize elements of HathiTrust Web applications that have been identified by users or staff as being in need of improvement.
User Support Working Group
The User Support Working Group welcomed 6 new members in 2013, and created a new subgroup to support corrections to bibliographic records in HathiTrust in conjunction with the move to Zephir, HathiTrust’s new bibliographic management system. A summary of issues received by the User Support Working Group is given in the table at the end of the update.
Copyright Review Management System
Public Domain Determinations
Public Domain Determinations
HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC)
The HTRC concluded its first phase of development in early 2013 with the release of production infrastructure to support data mining and textual analysis of public domain volumes in HathiTrust. Work began immediately on the second phase, which focuses on community engagement and community-driven enhancements to HTRC services, and development of the HathiTrust-Sloan-Cloud, to provide secure access to the entire HathiTrust corpus. Some highlighted phase 2 activities included:
- The identification of author gender information for works in the HTRC and inclusion of this information in user worksets;
- The second annual HTRC UnCamp, held at the University of Illnois at Urbana-Champaign in September;
- The initiation of monthly user group meetings;
- A call for proposals for the Workset Creation for Scholarly Analysis: Prototyping Project grant, received from the Institute of Museum and Library Services;
- Preparation of HTRC infrastructure to receive in-copyright works in the HathiTrust collection;
- Continued pursuit of grant opportunities and the preparation of a business plan for the HathiTrust Board of Governors;
- The release of version 2 of the HTRC.
Links to information about getting started with the HTRC, HTRC listservs, presentations, news, and events, can be found at http://www.hathitrust.org/htrc.
HathiTrust released a new bibliographic management system, Zephir, developed by the California Digital Library. See these links for the full announcement and Zephir background information and documentation.
Work by Michigan staff focused primarily in three areas: specifying modifications to HathiTrust applications that will be needed to properly associate articles from a single journal with one another and with information about the journal; making enhancements to the HathiTrust PageTurner to display JATS XML articles; and modifying HathiTrust ingest procedures to handle non-JATS content that is embedded in articles or submitted as supplementary material. Staff also defined preservation levels for different types of submitted content, and clarified the scope of mPach services and roles of entities using mPach to deposit materials in HathiTrust. More information about mPach is available on the HathiTrust project page.
US Federal Government Documents
HathiTrust hired Valerie Glenn as a Government Documents Registry Analyst to support work to build a public registry of US federal government documents. A registry project team held a series of focus groups in the fall with representation from a wide variety of interested groups, resulting in draft use cases and functional requirements for the registry. The team also assembled a list of known federal agencies, which is being used to review the comprehensiveness of sources for name authority records such as VIAF and the LC Name Authority Headings.
HathiTrust issued a broad call for US federal government documents records in an effort to understand the scope of the government documents corpus in the US and perform analysis to determine what portion of the corpus has been digitized. The deadline for submitting records for the initial analysis is January 31, 2014.
Development in 2013 included the following:
New Functionality / Application Changes
- The addition of event-tracking features to links in HathiTrust that make it possible to filter results in HathiTrust Analytics based on whether a user is logged in from a HathiTrust partner institution or a University of Michigan Friend Account.
- The addition of pagination to collection search results.
- The addition of book cover thumbnails (also added to full-text search results).
- Correction of issues related to the display of authors and titles.
- The addition of backend functionality to batch-remove collection items.
- The release of version 2 of the Data API, which included support for JATS articles, digital audio and TEI (the timeline for supporting TEI in the repository is to be determined).
- Implementation of a mechanism to automatically delete registered Data API keys that have not been activated.
- The addition of a checkbox to the advanced full-text search page, allowing users to limit a search to items held in print by their institution. The checkbox appears only to authenticated members of partner institutions.
- Improvements to the synchronization of the full-text index from the Michigan repository instance to the instance in Indiana.
- Improvements to indexing of partner print holdings information, and optimization of indexing when maintenance or large updates affecting full-text indexing are underway.
- Initial configuration and testing of new flash-based, high-performance storage to be used with full-text search.
- Significant work was undertaken to develop a spelling suggestion feature and to improve relevance ranking in full-text search results. Relevance ranking work included testing of Solr 4’s grouping functionality and the contribution of an initial patch to Lucene to correct an issue with the ranking of long documents in the BM25 ranking algorithm. Staff began coding to implement relevance ranking improvements in late 2013.
- Design and coding of processes to index JATS XML articles.
- Modification of the image server for HathiTrust applications to use Unifont when embedding OCR in PDFs in cases where the language of the volume is not supported by Deja Vu Sans, allowing more PDFs to be searchable.
- Improvements to the viewing interface (larger viewing space and improved layout).
- Introduction of mechanisms to display works appropriately depending on their reading order (right-to-left versus left-to-right).
- Ability to cancel full-book downloads.
- Removal of the restriction on the number of simultaneous accesses available to users at HathiTrust partner institutions who have print disabilities per print copy of a volume owned by the user’s institution.
- Stylistic changes to messages in mobile PageTurner that appear when special access to materials is granted (e.g., access to volumes that fall under Section 108 conditions or to users who have print disabilities).
- Updates to the way URL parameters are sent to Google Analytics in order to improve usage reporting for full-text searches within individual volumes.
- Reengineering of a tool to test and debug access controls.
- Tuning of heuristics that determine whether to display volumes from left to right or right to left (depending on the language).
- A fix to a bug that prevented PDFs that are read from right to left from being searchable.
- The addition of a special notice to PDFs generated by proxies for users who have print disabilities.
- Development to enable the delivery of JATS XML articles as PDFs.
- Deployment of a new robots.txt allowing search engines to crawl PageTurner and Collection Builder pages with a “noarchive” meta tag.
- Initiation of development by California Digital Library to effect a number of improvements to HathiTrust applications.
Print on demand
- New functionality to produce PDFs optimized for printing on Expresso Books Machines.
- Completion of a major project to redesign and add functionality to HathiTrust Web interfaces and services.
Server Replacement Cycle
- Replacement of servers in HathiTrust’s development environment, combined with a move to a new Linux distribution to better support Ruby-based applications.
- Replacement of production web servers at the Indiana site (servers at the Michigan site will be replaced in early 2014).
Installation of new storage at the Indiana and Michigan repository sites to accommodate 2013 volume projections and replace storage scheduled for retirement.
Placement of order for 2014 new and replacement storage.
Papers and Presentations
All papers and presentations are listed at http://www.hathitrust.org/papers.
Deposits from all institutions are shown in the table below.
|Volumes Added||Jan-Dec 2013||Total Volumes|
|Library of Congress||2||89,724|
|North Carolina State University||0||3,196|
|New York Public Library||28,796||288,370|
|Penn State University||23,472||68,204|
|Texas A&M University||1,201||1,201|
|University of California||64,915||3,448,170|
|University of Chicago||11,915||38,635|
|University of Florida||7,755||9,763|
|University of Illinois||8,088||112,975|
|University of Michigan||56,196||4,666,032|
|University of Minnesota||11,723||115,935|
|University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill||8,937||17,025|
|University of Wisconsin||5,544||555,924|
|University of Virginia||22||50,821|
Public Domain (~32%)
* Includes volumes opened through copyright review and rights holder permissions
Summary of Issues Received by User Support
|Issue Type||Jan-Dec 2013||Jan-Dec 2012|
|Access and Use||950||969|
|Print on Demand||4||8|
|Full-PDF or e-copy requests||216||198|
|Data Availability and APIs||14||9|
|Reuse of content||48||25|
|Problems with login specifically||16||9|
|General questions about login||24||21|
|Partners setting up login||20||21|
See User Support Working Group Issue Types for a description of the types of issues included in each category.
Most Accessed Volumes
HathiTrust is an international partnership of academic and research institutions dedicated to ensuring the preservation and accessibility of the vast record of human knowledge. The partnership owns and operates a digital repository containing millions of public domain and in copyright volumes, digitized from partnering institution libraries and other sources. The preserved volumes are made available in accordance with copyright law as a shared scholarly resource for students, faculty, and researchers at the partnering institutions, and as a public good to the world community. For more information, visit HathiTrust.org.