I like to keep busy because keeping busy gives me the opportunity to learn. I work on two projects in my free time. Both the projects have to do with “databases”.
I’ve enclosed the word “database” with inverted commas because I realise that this word refers to two very different things to two communities. So, before I describe the projects I work on, let me elaborate on the word “database”. In the IT world, a “database” refers to a software (e.g., Microsoft Access, FileMaker or MySQL — one example each roughly from the Microsoft Windows, Apple and Linux worlds) that allows a person to create and manage a set of records.
In the library world, however, a “database” refers to a (usually very large) collection of documents (articles or ebooks) which users get access to when the institution they work for subscribe to them. Publishers that own these databases charge quite a hefty bit for access to these databases, and this has spawned the open access movement (open science, open publishing, open this-and-that, etc.).
Some examples of such databases are:
- SpringerLink, by Springer
- ACM Digital Library, by the Association of Computing Machinery
- Inderscience Database, by Inderscience Publishers
- Emeral Insight Database by Emerald Publishing
- Taylor & Francis Online by the Taylor & Francis Group
With the open access / open science movement gaining ground, I’m not sure how long more these publishers can stay profitable. In addition, so many authors are giving their articles away on their homepages!
The two databases I started are of the library kind, not the IT kind. They are: