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In Brief


D-Lib Magazine
September 2002

Volume 8 Number 9

ISSN 1082-9873

In Brief

EU(DELOS)-NSF Working Group on Digital Archiving and Preservation

Contributed by:
Margaret Hedstrom
University of Michigan, North American Coordinator

Seamus Ross
University of Glasgow and ERPANET, European Coordinator

Long-term preservation and archiving of digital information is an unsolved problem for organizations that need continuing access to information over extended periods of time, for researchers who rely on a cumulative record of data and scholarship, and for libraries, archives, museums and other cultural institutions whose mission is to preserve knowledge. Almost all information generated today originates in digital form, including scientific research data, scholarly publications, records of administration and financial transactions, and even creative expressions in music and art, but few organizations have the means to preserve digital information for the long-term. Despite significant recent advances in the areas of repository architecture and design, standards, and metadata, few people are confident that valuable digital information will remain available and usable in the future. The National Science Foundation, the European Commission, and several other organizations have identified digital archiving as an important area for research and development, but there is no agreed upon set of priorities or coherent plan for research in this area.

A joint EU(DELOS)/NSF Working Group on Digital Archiving and Preservation began developing a common research agenda at an organizational meeting in Washington, D.C. on April 21 and 22. This working group aims to define a research agenda in the area of digital preservation and to identify activities for cooperation between EU and North American researchers. The Working Group will survey current research activities, identify gaps, and develop a white paper proposing future research directions and other opportunities for joint activities between Europe and North American. Seamus Ross, University of Glasgow, will lead the European team and Margaret Hedstrom, University of Michigan, will coordinate the North American participation. Other members of the working group are:

  • Birte Christensen-Dalsgaard, Head of Web Archiving Project in Denmark (Statsbiblioteket)
  • Titia van der Werf, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands
  • Kevin Ashley, University of London Computing Centre
  • Erich Neuhold, Fraunhofer (Darmstadt)
  • Claude Huc, French Space Agency
  • Wendy Duff, University of Toronto
  • Henry Gladney, HMG Consulting
  • Anne R. Kenney, Cornell University
  • Reagan Moore, San Diego Super Computer Center

At its initial meeting, the Working Group developed an extensive list of research issues and potential projects. Working group members are developing scenarios for research projects that define a problem area, suggest research approaches, and propose methods for implementation and evaluation of the results. We are seeking suggestions for research challenges in long-term preservation from the larger digital library community. Readers with suggestions for research topics for the Working Group to consider may use the Working Group web site: <> to identify important research projects that are recently completed or underway; suggest issues to be addressed by future research activities; and summarise your impression of the results of the research to date. The Working Group will develop a draft research agenda in late summer 2002 and complete a white paper by December 2002.

Update on the JISC X4L Programme

Contributed by:
Paul Davey
Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)

Email Point of Contact: Rachel Bruce <>

Individuals and institutions create resources that are potentially of immense benefit to other institutions and to the wider education community. One of the major benefits of the online education environment is the possibility it brings for sharing resources and allowing genuine collaboration. For example, the success of the Archives Hub—an online gateway to archive information from UK universities and colleges—has shown how information about collections can be made available within a collaborative framework so that the community as a whole can exploit the potential of valuable institutional resources.

Access to high quality on-line information and learning resources is now essential to everyone engaged in education, whether as students, teachers, or researchers. But finding and using the right resources is not easy - for example, exploiting multimedia materials can be particularly demanding. It is also clear that without the enabling role of a managed environment, information seekers cannot always be confident about the quality of the information they encounter. The development of a coherent information environment is an important means of helping users to maximise the value of the Internet by making best use of its bewildering profusion of information resources. Two important programmes, X4L and FAIR, within the Information Environment plan <> are based on precisely these overall objectives, extending their scope in new and exciting ways.

The 22 projects within the Exchange for Learning Programme (X4L)—which involve around 100 institutions and teams from colleges, universities, libraries, JISC services, local authorities and commercial companies—will explore the re-purposing (the adapting or customizing) of a range of content for re-use as learning materials. A "development bay" will house learning materials in a range of subjects, which the community will be able to access and adapt for their own teaching requirements. Copyright will be cleared for all content created in this programme, while case studies will point to good practice and encourage take-up. One element of this programme will also explore the process of integration or "plugging-in" of usable objects into Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) and Managed Learning Environments (MLEs), something of growing importance to colleges and universities.

X4L has the potential to greatly benefit the UK FE and HE communities. They will involve not only the creation of high-quality content, but also the development of a range of tools and mechanisms that will encourage new ways in which the education community can build and share resources together.

For further details of specific projects or any other queries please contact:

Rachel Bruce
JISC London Office

Find out more about this programme at: X4L - <>.

MedHist: A Subject Gateway for the History of Medicine

Contributed by:
David Little
MedHist Project Officer
Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine
London, United Kingdom

The Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine and the BIOME hub have recently launched the MedHist history of medicine gateway. It is available from <>.

MedHist provides access to a searchable and browsable database of rich metadata relating to high quality Internet resources in the subject field of the history of medicine and allied sciences. All resources are evaluated according to strict criteria endorsed by an advisory body of academics, subject specialists and librarians.

MedHist can be searched using a powerful search engine and searches may be limited to particular resource types or particular time periods. Browsing options include the ability to browse by broad categories, MeSH keywords and personal names.

The MedHist gateway is managed and funded by the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine with technical development and Web site hosting provided by the BIOME health and life sciences hub. MedHist is affiliated with the Resource Discovery Network (RDN), and its records may be accessed in a number of ways: from the MedHist Web site itself, from a search across the entire BIOME hub and via Resource Finder, the central union catalogue of the RDN's constituent hubs.

The history of medicine is a truly interdisciplinary subject, and for this reason MedHist's resource descriptions may be of interest to a variety of academic communities. To address this, MedHist records are shared with the Humbul humanities hub using the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) protocol for metadata harvesting. As a reciprocal arrangement, Humbul shares its History and Philosophy of Science records with MedHist. There are currently plans to expand this resource sharing to include the SOSIG social sciences gateway.

Links to organizations discussed above include:

TREC Genomics Pre-Track Workshop Report, Joint Conference on Digital Libraries

Contributed by:
William Hersh
Pre-Track Chair
Professor and Head
Division of Medical Informatics & Outcomes Research
Oregon Health & Science University <>

The Text Retrieval Conference (TREC, is an annual activity of the information retrieval (IR) community aiming to evaluate IR systems and users. It is sponsored by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). IR has historically focused on document retrieval, but the field has expanded in recent years with the growth of new information needs (e.g., question-answering, multi-lingual) and platforms (the Web). A key feature of TREC is that research groups work on a common source of data and a common set of queries or tasks. The goal is to allow comparisons across systems and approaches in a research-oriented, collegial manner.

In recent years, interest at TREC has also grown to other types of data besides textual documents, such as video. Another category of data that is of interest to participants is structured data, and one particular interest within the structured data category is that of genomics data.

At the same time, the growing field of bioinformatics has begun to take an interest in a number of IR-related issues. Interest is particularly high in information extraction (IE), an area related to IR and one in which many IR researchers have worked.

Thus the time seems ripe to foster collaboration across these communities. The TREC activity is organized into "tracks" of common interest, such as question-answering, multi-lingual IR, Web searching, and interactive retrieval. TREC generally works on an annual cycle, with data distributed in the spring, experiments run in the summer, and the results presented at the annual conference which usually takes place in November. TREC also has a notion of exploratory efforts, called "pre-tracks."

For TREC 2002, there will be a "Genomics Pre-Track." The current plan is to devote the TREC 2002 pre-track to assembling an information collection and set of queries/tasks. There will be challenges to finding common ground across the IR and bioinformatics communities, i.e., balancing the domain-specific needs of the latter with the aim for generalizability for the former.

A workshop was held at the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries on July 18, 2002. It was a productive day of presentations and discussion. The participants emerged with a plan to move forward. Follow-up information has been circulated on the pre-track listserv ( and is posted on the pre-track Web site: <>

At the workshop, it was evident that this embryonic community has a diverse array of research interests and capabilities. We will therefore need to continue working towards a common task and set of resources and evaluation metrics to use for those tasks. Our first step in defining the tasks, resources, and metrics will be to collect a sample task from each individual/group interested in participating, and collating them to determine commonality. Those planning to participate in this process were asked to submit a sample task via email to the Pre-Track Chair by August 30, 2002.

The task template will consist of the following:


  • Gene(s) or Protein(s)

Task, including:

  • Description
  • Motivating context
  • Sub-tasks within overall task
  • Resources to be used
  • Reasons why task is challenging
  • Metrics for measuring success and what resources will be required for their use

The resources to be used might include but are not limited to:

  • OMIM
  • GenBank (including dbSNP)
  • LocusLink
  • Highwire Press - full text of 300+ journal articles (copyright issues?)
  • Gene Ontology (GO)
  • Enzyme Classification System
  • UMLS (users will need free license from NLM)
  • HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) codes
  • SGD (Saccharomyces Genome Database, with GO codes for gene names and articles)
  • Flybase
  • SWISSPROT - links protein sequences to each other and literature (copyright issues?)

Output(s), including metrics:

  • Winnowed articles
  • Potential GO codes
  • Interactions with other genes
  • Equivalent genes in other organisms

We also articulated a timeline:

  • August - get one fully instantiated task from each group that desires to participate
  • September - collate tasks into database or spreadsheet
  • October - analyze tasks
  • November - present analysis and meet at TREC (probably 11/18)
  • January - meet at PSB 2003 to identify sources, tasks, assessors, funding, etc.
  • Spring - distribute data (or how to get it) plus sample tasks
  • Summer - distribute tasks and run experiments
  • Fall, 2003 - assessment of results
  • November, 2003 - present first track results at TREC 2003 meeting

Document Search Interface Design Workshop at the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries '02

Contributed by:
Javed Mostafa
Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana, USA

On July 18th, 2002 the First Workshop on Document Search Interface Design and Intelligent Access took place at the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, Portland, Oregon. Seven papers were selected for presentation, and about 20 people were in attendance. The papers presented at the workshop can be grouped under three broad categories: 1) enhanced interaction and interface support, 2) domain-centric analysis of search needs, and 3) behavioral analysis of search and user interaction.

French et al. presented a paper that falls under the first category. Their proposal is for supporting enhanced searching by allowing users to specify and refine queries based on multiple viewpoints. Viewpoints are different contexts of the same collection that emphasize different aspects of the content. In the same category was a paper by Wu et al. concentrating on a specific interface design feature, namely a Table of Content view of collections, which can be used to organize large hit sets into hierarchical displays for locating desired information quickly and more accurately. Harper and Muresan's paper focused on interaction and interface support for increasing query accuracy through a mediation step. The mediation step takes advantage of existing specialized collections, allows users to browse topical structures in these collections, and generates refined queries by applying statistical language modeling.

By considering "design" as a special domain and analyzing the information support demands from this context, Harper produced a set of specific functional requirements. Harper convincingly argued that search must be viewed from the context of domain-oriented tasks and activities and systems must be designed that seamlessly integrate search into support for other key tasks and activities. Qin and Finneran pointed out the importance of the relationship between representation and search functions by analyzing the major metadata standards used in the educational domain and the constraints these representations place on searching. Qin and Finneran proposed an ontological representation that can capture component level semantics in a more in-depth manner and has the potential to improve navigation and retrieval of learning objects.

Toms claimed that advances in search interfaces have been slow due to lack of consideration of key "sub-tasks" users engage in during searching. She presented a list of 16 sub-tasks abstracted from observation of typical search tasks performed by 48 participants using a modified Google interface. Kelly and Belkin defined the context of a search more broadly than an information need event—as a problematic situation influenced by various attributes including topic familiarity, topic persistence, task endurance, and problem solving stage. In their paper, they described the background and methodology of a longitudinal study that aims to more clearly characterize the attributes of user's problematic situation and identify their relationship to common search and use behaviors such as book-marking, viewing, scrolling, and printing.

The main objective of the workshop was to raise awareness and improve understanding of theories and models of interaction and new interface design approaches. In this regard the workshop can be considered a success as it attracted high quality papers as well as researchers and developers conducting cutting-edge work in the field. In collaboration with the main organizer of the information visualization workshop, Katy Börner, we are already planning the 2nd workshop to be held at next year's JCDL. The information visualization workshop will be merged with the search interface workshop, and it is tentatively titled: Information Retrieval & Navigation Interfaces. Related URLs to the search interface workshop and the visualization workshop are provided below:

Summary of the Workshop on Digital Gazetteers: Integration into Distributed Digital Library Services

Contributed by:
Linda Hill
Alexandria Digital Library Project
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California, USA

The "Workshop on Digital Gazetteers: Integration into Distributed Digital Library Services" was held on July 18, 2002 in conjunction with the ACM-IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries in Portland, Oregon. This workshop was sponsored by the Networked Knowledge Organization Systems/Services (NKOS) group as the 5th in their workshop series (see <>). The 38 participants represented a worldwide community of researchers, implementers, and librarians for whom gazetteers are important components of information systems. These included those from cultural history, biology and environmental data collections, library cooperative projects, digital library research, information service companies, and state and national projects related to gazetteers. Participants came from Germany, Taiwan, Norway, Canada, and the United Kingdom as well as the United States.

Workshop topics included (1) security and privacy issues with gazetteer data; (2) importance of feature type schemes for information description and retrieval; need for customized/localized feature type schemes; interoperability of such schemes; tension between complexity and simplicity in these schemes; (3) announcement about the ESRI gazetteer services available free over the Internet and the distinction between placenames and addresses—geoparsing vs. geocoding; and (4) interest of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) in gazetteers; increasing interest in structured reference sources.

In addition to the workshop proceedings, Jordan Hastings, UCSB, gave a presentation on duplicate detection challenges for gazetteers at a workshop preview session the evening before the workshop. He presented his work on developing a methodology for comparing gazetteer entries to determine if they are about the same place. This is a difficult challenge because no single piece of data about a place is unique: the same names can be linked to different places; a place can have multiple names (sometimes because of different languages, variant spellings, and changes through time); geometries come in different forms (e.g., points and polygons) and at different scales, from different suppliers, and for different time periods. Types can also vary, and have differing hierarchical levels of representation, but have proved to be the most reliable clue for duplicate detection. The methodology uses a weighted combination of measures based on a comparison of types, locations, and names. Other factors that might improve performance are whether the feature can be expected to have a crisp or diffuse boundary; whether the feature's geometry is compact or extended; and whether the feature is tangible or abstract. Map visualization of potential duplicates, with appropriate background layers, aids in human evaluation. The database challenges for this processing are significant, calling for custom data types, multiple (unlimited) attribution, and efficient geospatial processing. A proposed processing cycle is described.

The following presented papers at the Workshop:

  • Linda Hill, University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB)
  • Jim Frew, UCSB
  • Ruth Mostern, University of California, Berkeley
  • Greg Janée, UCSB
  • Jens Fitzke, University of Bonn
  • Dagobert Soergel, University of Maryland
  • Ya-ning Chen (Arthur Chen), Academia Sinica
  • James Reed and Andy Corbett, Edinburgh Data and Information Access (EDINA)
  • Humphrey Southall, University of Portsmouth
  • David Smith, Tuffs University
  • Patrick McGlamery, University of Connecticut
  • Rhian Evans, Atlas of Canada
  • Cliff Lynch, Coalition for Networked Information (CNI)

Links to PowerPoint slides of the presentations and a full summary including synopses of the presentations may be found at may be found at the workshop page at the NKOS web site, <>.

Workshop Report: Usability of Digital Libraries at JCDL '02

Contributed by:
Ann Blandford
UCL Interaction Centre, University College London

George Buchanan
Interaction Design Centre, Middlesex University

Digital Libraries will only realise their potential when they are usable, useful and in use by a broad cross-section of users. As an interviewee in one of our earlier studies on experiences of working with digital libraries commented, "It's like being given a Rolls Royce and only being able to sound the horn"; in other words, digital libraries are potentially powerful tools, but only if users are able to harness that power and take it in fruitful directions.

At the workshop, ten presented papers and 32 participants illuminated the many problems experienced by users in interacting with DLs, and the corresponding challenges to the practitioners and researchers who aim to provide productive and effective interactions between DLs and their users. The presented papers included the experiences of implementers and the findings of researchers from a variety of disciplines (human-computer interaction, information science, social science and computer science).

A wide variety of evaluation techniques had been used, including qualitative and quantitative methods, model-based and participative studies, each illuminating different aspects of usability. One clear question for workshop participants regarded understanding what insights each technique provided, and the corresponding weaknesses of each. This knowledge of our domain, and related issues such as sample sizes, selecting representative users and typical tasks, is developing rapidly, but there is much more yet to learn.

Common problems reported by presenters and participants included users' poor comprehension of even commonplace library concepts such as 'collections', 'index fields' (title, author, etc.). The 'Google-generation' of DL readers familiar with single search-box, full-text searching represent a particular challenge to the library tradition of separate index fields. However, the more demanding traditional approaches can yield substantial benefits to domain and information science experts.

One issue particularly pertinent to those managing hybrid physical and digital libraries is how to combine the two forms. This situation is not yet fully developed, nor are the challenges and opportunities fully understood.

However, though many problems were reported, so were successes; one attendee reported that their library saw over 1.5 million downloads of documents in the last year.

The workshop clearly stimulated its participants, and many thought-provoking ideas emerged from speakers and attendees. The electronic proceedings of the workshop are available online at <>.

We would particularly like to thank Richard Furuta and Lynetta Sacharek and others on the JCDL organising committee, Kathleen Casey (student volunteer), the presenters and participants and the program committee:

Katy Börner Indiana University, USA
Sally-Jo Cunningham University of Waikato, NZ
Christine Borgman UCLA, USA
Matt Jones University of Waikato, NZ
Hanna Stelmaszewska Middlesex University, UK
Tamara Sumner University of Colorado, USA
Yin Leng Theng Nanyang TU, Singapore
Harold Thimbleby University College London, UK

Workshop Report: Developing Digital Libraries Education and Training Programs at JCDL '02

Contributed by:
Kristine R. Brancolini
Director, Digital Library Program
Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana, USA

On the afternoon of July 18, Kristine Brancolini and Javed Mostafa co-chaired a workshop entitled "Developing Digital Libraries Education and Training Programs," which was attended by fifteen participants. The program featured a keynote speaker and four additional speakers. Each of the four speakers submitted two-page papers, which were distributed at the workshop. They can be found on the workshop Web site: <>.

The goal of the workshop was to help formulate the essential elements of a digital library curriculum or training program, focusing upon theoretical knowledge and practical skills. The five speakers covered the topic from a variety of perspectives. One pleasant surprise was the number of international speakers and registrants, emphasizing the global need to address these issues.

Keynote speaker Ingeborg Solvberg from the Department of Computer and Information Science at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology described her institution's digital library education in her presentation "Digital Library Education: WHY-HOW-WHAT." Unlike many programs in the United States, Dr. Solvberg's program requires a computer science background first, then provides coursework in digital libraries covering information, documents, and collections; information seeking; information organization; mark-up languages and Unicode; copyright issues; metadata; information objects; evaluation; system architecture; and more. The program primarily educates technical staff, not librarians.

The next speaker, Kelsey Libner from the University of North Carolina brought a student perspective to the workshop. As a recent graduate of the University of Michigan's School of Information, Mr. Libner's paper, "Architect-Builders Needed for Digital Libraries," argued that digital library education and training should be founded on three disciplines: architecture, design, and implementation. In his presentation, Mr. Libner analyzed a typical digital library task, breaking out the component skills and knowledge required to complete this task.

Péter Jacsó, from the Information Science Program at the University of Hawaii, described his course in digital librarianship in "Design and Implementation of a Course on Digital Librarianship." Dr. Jacsó's course combines information for the reference librarian who must use digital information resources with information for librarians who might be creating these digital information resources. He noted the need to teach all librarians about digital libraries, whether or not they will eventually work in digital library programs.

Shalini R. Urs, from the Department of Library and Information Science at the University of Mysore in India presented a comprehensive look at digital library education at another international institution, this time from the librarian's perspective, in her paper, "Redefining, Reinventing, and Repositioning the Information Professionals and Digital Libraries in the New Information Landscape." Her program provides an interesting comparison with Dr. Solvberg's technical orientation.

The final speaker, Cavan McCarthy, from the School of Library and Information Science at Louisiana State University, described and demonstrated student digital library projects as part of his presentation "Selection Criteria Used in Student Project Sites, Created during Library Courses." Dr. McCarthy outlined the opportunities as well as the constraints presented by partnering with archives to provide practical digital library experiences to library school students.

As follow-up to the workshop, the chairs will develop a proposal to create a specialization in digital libraries for the School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University. The goal will be to design a suite of courses and institutes that will meet the needs of both students and working professional who would like to expand their knowledge and skills in the field of digital libraries. The workshop speakers provided ideas that might be incorporated into such a program.

We would like to thank our presenters and the workshop program committee.

The committee members were:

  • Jon W. Dunn, Indiana University
  • Rebecca Graham, Johns Hopkins University
  • Liz Shaw, University of Pittsburgh
  • Thorny Staples, University of Virginia

In the News

Recent Press Releases and Announcements

University of Pittsburgh Library System Releases Historic Star Data Online

University of Pittsburgh, September 4, 2002 - "The Digital Research Library, a department of the University of Pittsburgh Library System, now provides online access to historic star data and calculations compiled and published by the Allegheny Observatory. The Parallax Project Website ( makes available over five decades of the Observatorys valuable research, which represents one of the largest systematic, ground-based studies of star distances ever conducted."

"Prior to the Parallax Project Website, public access to this stellar data was available only through a limited number of deteriorating copies of the Publications of the Allegheny Observatory of the University of Pittsburgh. This ten-volume set, published between 1910 and 1969, primarily documented the observations of the Photographic Parallax Program. Frank Schlesinger, director of the Observatory from 1905-1920, established this program to measure a stars distance from the Sun (i.e., a parallax) using the photographic record of blue and ultraviolet light emitted by the brightest stars visible from Pittsburgh. The Publications also contain reports on the methodologies of astronomical observation, articles about innovative models of calculating star positions, and descriptions of observational instrumentation."

"Schlesingers Parallax Program put Pittsburgh on the map as a center for high-precision astronometry research and warranted the construction of the 30” Thaw Refractor telescope. Built almost entirely in Pittsburgh by John A. Brashear in 1912, it remains the third largest refractor in the United States. Parallax information gathered from the Thaw refractor continues to be a fundamental basis for modern searches for extra-solar planets."

"According to Dr. George Gatewood, current director of the Allegheny Observatory, 'It is through the statistical investigation of this data, in comparison to those of other observatories, that our understanding of the intrinsic characteristics of the stars was obtained. The data is important in the study of the compilation catalogs to which it contributed, to the weighted mean parallax of modern studies of these stars, and to the understanding of the strengths and limitations of the program, which contributed so profoundly to the determination of the scale of the Universe.'."

"The Digital Research Library has extended the life of this information and made it more widely available to the research community through an extensive digitization project. The pages of the Publications have been converted into scanned images for viewing so that the online material replicates the layout and format of the original volumes. Users of the digital Publications can also search the content of these volumes for such star identifiers as Allegheny Observatory running number, star name, right ascension, declination, and parallax value. The project also produced two sets of preservation reprints of the Publications to replace the highly acidic and brittle originals."

"The information contained in these scientifically and historically important texts will be more broadly available to an expanded audience of professional and amateur astronomers, high school and college students, and historians of science. A powerful search capability, coupled with important contextual information about the stars, adds tremendous value to the online version of these texts released through the Digital Research Librarys Parallax Project Website."

"The Digital Research Library has been a department of the University of Pittsburghs Library System since 1998. It serves the University and the general public through the creation and maintenance of Web-accessible digital research collections. The Digital Research Library has a successful history of freely delivering texts, map images, encoded archival finding aids, bibliographies, and databases to the Internet community."

For more information, see the Parallax Project Website at &l;t>, or contact Edward Galloway, Coordinator, University of Pittsburgh <>."

The Ingenta Institute Finds Site Licensing in State of Flux

Processes of Negotiation are in Transition for Libraries, Publishers and Intermediaries

August 26 - "Ingenta Institute, the independent research organization of the scholarly communications industry, today announced some preliminary early findings from its comprehensive international study into the impact of site licensing and consortia developments on the scholarly communication process. 'Early results indicate that consortia site licensing is in a state of flux,' says David Brown, Co-ordinator of the Ingenta Institute, 'and that its future is dependent upon a number of factors.'"

"Analyzing the impact of consortia dealing on libraries and publishers in the US and Europe in two separate studies, renowned information expert Donald W. King, Professor at The School of Information Sciences, Pittsburgh University and UK-based research consultancy Key Perspectives Ltd identified similar trends despite the relatively recent creation of consortia in Europe. Headline findings include:

  • Both publishers and librarians see the current consortia negotiation system as transistory. And there are insufficient funds to pay for future renewals and new signatures to consortia deals.
  • Libraries have commonly raided book budgets and found new, one-off funds to pay for consortia deals.
  • The recent stimulus to library consortia has been the desire to generate access to a greater amount of electronic information for a relatively small amount of additional cost.
  • Intermediaries, such as subscription agents, have not been active in negotiating consortia deals on behalf of their library customers.
  • Instead, large commercial publishers have negotiated directly with consortia, necessitating operational changes within the publishing organization.
  • In 2002, many large and medium-sized serials publishers rely on library consortia for between 25%-58% of their total revenues.
  • Late entrants are finding the lion’s share of consortia budgets have already been allocated to the first movers, but smaller publishers recognize their need to be involved in consortia dealings for fear of being locked out of future budget allocations.

For more information, see the Ingenta web site at <>.

JISC Resource Guides for HE

Announcement from Philip Pothen, Joint Information Systems Commmitte (JISC): August 27, 2002.

"Following the successful evaluation of the Resource Guide for the Social Sciences and the Resource Guide for the Arts and Humanities pilot projects, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) has rolled out the initiative to the following subject areas:"

  • "Arts and Humanities
  • Engineering, Mathematics and Computing
  • Geography and Environmental Science
  • Health and Life Sciences
  • Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism
  • Physical Sciences
  • Social Sciences"

"The purpose of the Resource Guides is to provide an overview and guide, both in online and in printed forms, to the key online collections and resources (not only JISC collections and resources, but also those of other key organisations) in a particular subject area, to fund a full-time Resource Guide Adviser to undertake a range of promotional and training activities, and to provide a conduit between subject communities in Higher Education and resource providers."

"All seven Resource Guide Advisers are now in place and are keen to hear from information professionals, subject librarians, lecturers, staff development officers, IT support staff and any others who have a specific subject remit within their universities and who wish to communicate with the advisers about online resources and their promotion within their subject areas."

"Resource Guide Advisers are currently planning their programme, including the production of Resource Guides, conference activities and training events for the upcoming academic year. This initiative depends on community involvement, and we would encourage all those who have responsibility for the delivery of online resources within a particular subject area, to get in touch with their respective Resource Guide Adviser."

"The full list of subjects, along with the Resource Guide Advisers and their contact details, are as follows:

  • Engineering, Mathematics and Computing
    Sarah Kelly, EEVL, Heriot-Watt University

For more information contact the above Guide Advisers or contact Philip Pothen at JISC at <philip.pothen@KCL.AC.UK>.

Mellon Dissertation Fellowships Offered by CLIR

News Release: August 22, 2002. "WASHINGTON, D.C.— For the second year, the Council on Library and Information Resources is offering fellowships funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support dissertation research in the humanities in original sources."

"Applications postmarked by December 1, 2002 (November 15, 2002, if mailed from outside the United States) will be considered for approximately 10 awards to be announced by April 1, 2003, for use beginning between June 1 and September 1, 2003."

For a description of the purposes of the program and more information how to apply for the fellowships, see the full press release at <>.

New Forum Puts Archaeological Archives in the Picture:
National Initiative to Tap Wealth of Information

Press release from English Heritage: 22 August 2002.

"English Heritage has announced the foundation of a new Archaeological Archives Forum which aims to open up generations of invaluable research to a wider public."

"English Heritage is among a number of heritage organisations joining forces in the Forum to tackle the job of making archaeological archives, with their wealth of finds, photographs and information, easier to access."

"Kathy Perrin, responsible for archaeological archives policy at English Heritage and Secretary of the Forum, said: 'Archaeological archives are amongst our greatest assets but their wealth is too often untapped and their potential unexplored. Stuck away in basements or remote storerooms, they can be inaccessible or even thought of as a nuisance. Once written up in academic publications or client reports the mass of material and information they represent seldom sees the light of day. The Forum hopes to change this by creating new standards of access and deposition. We want the archives to be a source of exciting interactive learning and research for everyone, from schoolchildren to professors.'"

"High on the Forum's agenda are the provision of archaeological resource centres, digital access and archiving and training in post excavation archiving. The Museum of London has provided a blueprint with the opening in February of its London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre (LAARC) in Mortimer Wheeler House."

See the full press release at <> or visit the Archaeological Archives Forum website at <>.

National Library of the Netherlands and Elsevier Science make digital preservation history Permanent digital archive assures perpetual accessibility of scientific heritage

"Glasgow, August 20th - Today, at the Conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in Glasgow, Elsevier Science and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the National Library of the Netherlands, announce a groundbreaking new agreement in relations between publishers and libraries world-wide in the area of electronic archiving. The Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB) will become the first official digital archive for Elsevier Science journals. This means the library will receive digital copies of all Elsevier journals made available on its web platform, ScienceDirect, which are approximately 1,500 journals covering all areas of science, technology and medicine, and exceeding 7 TB of data. For everybody involved in research and the communication of research results—authors, researchers, librarians and publishers alike—this is a decisive step forward in keeping digital archives available in perpetuity."

For more information, contact:
Karen Hunter, Senior Vice President Strategy, Elsevier Science
Tel: +1 212 633 3787, Fax: +1 212 633 3764,
Email: <>

Colombia's BibloRed receives the 2002 Access to Learning Award

August 20, 2002. "GLASGOW — The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today presented BibloRed (Capital Network of Public Libraries) of Bogotá, Colombia, with the 2002 Access to Learning Award for their exceptional efforts to expand access to information, computers and the Internet for all people. BibloRed also received a USD $1 million grant to expand further the innovative work they are undertaking to provide access to information technology for the public."

See the full press release at <>.

Publishers and librarians agree on the preservation of digital information

IFLA/IPA Joint Press Release: 12 August 2002. "Agreement on the archiving and preserving of digital information has been reached by an international group of librarians and book and journal publishers."

"The statement, entitled Preserving the Memory of the World in Perpetuity was agreed by the Joint Steering Group, established by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and the International Publishers Association (IPA)."

"...Concern has been growing that much digital material has already been lost, because no attempt has been made to preserve it. In many countries there are long-established arrangements to preserve print materials for future generations. But this is often not the case for digital information. As a result, many electronic publications will not be preserved unless specific steps are taken to ensure their survival."

"The statement commits both organisations to work together on joint initiatives to study the3 technical, economic and policy issues surrounding digital preservation."

See the full press release at <>.

Resource to Review its Role Across the Library Domain

"London, 8 August 2002 -- Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries has launched a UK-wide consultation exercise to identify clearly the ways it can most effectively benefit the whole library and information domain."

"Until now most of Resource's library related work has focused on public libraries. This is in large part due to the sheer size and scale of the popular People's Network, coupled with the need to prioritise the implementation of the Building on Success strategy for public libraries. Now, Resource wishes to see what can be realistically accomplished across the whole of the library and information community, ranging from school, further and higher education libraries, through health, prison and workplace libraries to the book trade and internet providers."

The first step for Resource in this important project will be to consult policy makers, key practitioners andprofessional associations (especially CILIP) and discuss withthem the role Resource might play to help maximise the contribution that the domain makes tothe UK's economic, social and cultural well-being. This consultation process has been anmed WILIP - Wider Information and Library Issues Project.."

"The Resource website can be viewed at <>."

US Department of Education Funds Librariy's Middle East Database Project

New Haven, CT. July 31, 2002: "The Yale Library announced that its proposal to lead and coordinate a collaborative database project that will make available important Middle Eastern resources has been awarded a U. S. Department of Education Title VI grant under the "Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information Access" program. Project OACIS (Online Access to Consolidated Information on Serials) will be funded for three years, at a level of $145,000 in the first year and comparable amounts thereafter. The Library is adding its own staff and technology resources to this significant cost-sharing arrangement.".

"Associate University Librarian Ann Okerson described the project as one that will create a publicly and freely accessible, continuously updated listing of Middle East journals and serials, including those available in print, microform, and online. The listing, which will be available on the Web, will identify libraries that own the materials as well as exact holdings, initially for Arabic and English language titles and then for an ever-expanding group of Middle Eastern languages. As it develops, Project OACIS will also serve as a gateway to those serials by enhancing content delivery of those titles.".

"Project OACIS is international in scope. While initial titles reports will be contributed by US partner libraries, the database will expand to include titles and holdings of targeted partner institutions in Europe and the Middle East. The project design includes interactions with teachers of foreign languages and with librarians in Middle Eastern countries who will offer input on design and functionality. The records will be searchable in non-Roman alphabets.".

"Yale Library staff, along with faculty of the Middle East Studies Council of the Yale Center for International and Area Studies, have been developing Project OACIS over several years, in a commitment to provide access to the literature of this increasingly important region of the world for a wide range of educational, government, and commercial institutions. The aim is to develop a better understanding of the varied economies, politics, languages, and cultures of the Middle East.".

"Yale University was one of the earliest higher education institutions formally to study the Middle East, and its Library collections and other educational resources—and faculty—are among the strongest in the world.".

"The leadership of the project will be shared by AUL Ann Okerson as Principal Investigator, Kimberly Parker as Co-PI and Technical Director, and Simon Simon Samoeil, Near East Curator, as Project Manager and Director of Networking and Relationships. The US libraries committed to participating in the project include: Cornell, University of Michigan, Ohio State, University of Pennsylvania, University of Texas, and University of Washington. The principal European partner is the Universitäts-und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt. Middle Eastern partners have been identified in Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria.".

"Information about the OACIS project will be available at ."

For additional information, contact:

Ann Okerson, Associate University Librarian
203-432-1764, <> or

Kimberly Parker, Head of Electronic Collections
203-432-0067, <> or

Simon Samoeil, Near East Curator
203-432-1799, <>

(30 September 2002, the following correction has been made to this column: The name of the point of contact for the press release about the University of Pittsburgh library system has been corrected from Edward Gallagher to Edward Galloway.)

Copyright 2002 Corporation for National Research Initiatives

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DOI: 10.1045/september2002-inbrief