Shchetinin, V. and Filipova, L. (2000), "Ukrainian Internet Resources: Search Systems, Content, and Library Resources", Library Hi Tech News, Vol. 17 No. 8. https://doi.org/10.1108/lhtn.2000.23917had.001
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Ukrainian Internet Resources: Search Systems, Content, and Library Resources
Victoria Spain and Les Pourciau, Column Editors
Ukrainian Internet Resources: Search Systems, Content, and Library Resources
Victor Shchetinin and Lyudmyla Filipova
[The International Librarianship column of Library Hi Tech News is devoted to discussion and publicity of library conferences and events occurring on a global basis. It particularly attempts to portray library activities and developments in locales outside the UK and the USA. Column editors are Victoria Spain and Les Pourciau.]
Characteristics of the Internet in Ukraine
The global Internet space includes a huge quantity of electronic resources and services, among which there is now available a large number of Web sites in former republics of the USSR including Ukrainian electronic resources and services.
According to statistics compiled by Ukrainian experts in 1999, the number of Ukrainian Webservers was approximately 4,000 and the number of Ukrainian World Wide Web (WWW) pages was more than 300,000 (Lande and Darmohval, 1999, p. 14). The number of Ukrainian Internet users was more then 120,000 (Balyuk, 1999, p. 13). These are not large figures in comparison with the global world network development, but they are testament to significant effort in the Ukrainian Internet domains at the present time.
The modern development and extent of Internet technology in Ukraine is slower than in Russia, but faster than in other states of the Former Soviet Union (FSU). The number of Ukrainian Web Sites is growing every day because of the dynamic nature of the Internet. Table I provides some comparative data for the FSU.
Table I.Development of the Internet in the republics of the former USSR
Ukrainian Internet resources began to develop officially in 1992 when domain .Ua was registered at the InterNIC and RIPE databases. Domain distribution of Ukrainian Web servers indicating territorial and thematic content is provided in Table II.
Table II.Domain distribution of Ukrainian Web resources
According to O. Matov, chair of the National Agency on Information under direction of the President of Ukraine (1998), the following goals were established for the Internet in Ukraine:
Activate Internet usage in schools and universities.
Placement of valuable content on the Ukrainian Internet.
Create a National Center of Information Resources for Ukrainian resources.
One of the remaining tasks is the development of a common system of coding of the Ukrainian alphabet for communication in the information space of Ukraine.
Ukrainian Internet Search Systems
The market for Internet resources and services in Ukraine is currently developing.
Information about Ukraine on the Internet can be found by using various search engines. Among these are: For international Web sites in English any well-known search engine, e.g. Yahoo!, Excite, Alta Vista or others.
For international Web sites in Russian Alta Vista. For Russian Web sites, the choice is Rambler (http://www.rambler.ru), Aport (http://www.aport.ru), "Russian search machine" (http://search.interrussia.com), "Yandex" (http://www.yandex.ru/), "Russian Internet Search" (http://www.search.ru), "Yellow pages of Internet (Russian resources) (http://www.piterpress.ru), or "All stars of Internet" (http://www.stars.ru).
Table III.Ukrainian search systems lists
But, the experts agree that Ukraine needs its own search server, because all international, well-known, powerful search systems, especially American and Russian, cannot carry out searches about Ukraine or Ukrainian topics fully for two main reasons:
1) Systems are overloaded and can not monitor all changes in Ukrainian resources efficiently.
2) Ukrainian resources are not easily accessible for indexing by means of advanced world search systems because of poor speed of domestic communication channels.
At the same time Ukrainian users are increasingly interested not only in information connected with Ukraine, but also news happening inside Ukraine: business, financial, sports.
Ukrainian search tools which allow searches only on Ukrainian information resources are several. Among them there are those shown in Table III, according to Lande and Darmohval (1999, p. 18).
The increase in the number of observed Internet providers has developed in accordance with the economies of the regions. The most advanced by way of introducing the Internet is the East Region, in which the greatest amount of nodes is concentrated.
The Ukrainian search engine "Meta"(see Figure 1) was designed for working directly with Ukrainian servers as well as with subjects relating to Ukraine all over the world. The official start of the "Meta" project was in November 1998. "Meta" is supported by a team of Kharkiv specialists in collaboration with other partners. The "Meta" team very much appreciates the help, support, and assistance of Kharkiv State Politechnic University (KhSPU) and its department, the KhSPU Laboratory of information search systems, and the leading Internet provider in Kharkiv, JSC "Kharkiv Online".
The search engine "Meta" is powered by APORT technology (Russian; AGAMA Company). "Meta" inherits all the power and unique features of APORT, such as text reconstruction, precise highlighting of query keywords in abstracts for found resources, finding words in any grammatical form (an especially important feature for the Russian language), and combining copies of documents that can be found on several servers.
The main purpose of this engine is to provide a full-text search engine designed for searching Internet resources in Ukraine. Currently, three separate search databases are accessible: Ukraine, Kharkiv and the Ukrainian from abroad. The languages of the documents are mostly Russian and Ukrainian. But quite a number of pages have only English versions or both English and Russian/Ukrainian versions.
The main purpose of the system is to provide a reliable and well-informed guide throughout Ukrainian Internet resources. In the near future the development of informational services around this search engine is planned. This planning includes the creation of a specialized thematic index of Ukrainian electronic resources, some other information channels, and search services. It will provide a quick and effective search in the Internet space of Ukraine. More information about "Meta" (English version) can be seen at http://meta-ukraine.com.
The "Meta" system is the result of activity at Kharkiv State Polytechnic University and its Center of New Informational Technologies (CNIT). The university has one of the biggest Internet nodes in Kharkiv, is the only higher education establishment in Ukraine that is an Internet service provider (ISP), and has the corresponding license of the Ministry of Communications of Ukraine, the necessary equipment, the developed system of telecommunications, and qualified service personnel. The university is among the leading group of professional Internet service providers in the city. The Internet node of KhSPU is the basic node of the city's science-education net, which now comprises 16 establishments of education and science in the city (the total number of computers connected to the local net is approximately 1,000). According to a decision of the Ministry of Education and the Commission of the National Academy of Science of Ukraine, Kharkiv State Polytechnic University was named the basic regional center of the Ukrainian educational net, which is being created as this article is being written.
Figure 1.Ukrainian search engine Meta
Content of Ukrainian Internet Resources
The market for Internet services in Ukraine is developing dynamically and there is an increasing number of Internet providers. Ukrainian content of Internet resources in February 1999, according to Balyuk (1999, p. 20), includes the following:
information about enterprises, banks, and stock exchanges 42 per cent;
information for a wide range of the users 29.5 per cent;
information about Internet providers and their services 10 per cent;
electronic versions of newspapers and journals 8.5 per cent;
information about science and educational institutions 6 per cent;
information about bodies of the executive authority 3 per cent.
Web sites of foreign country embassies, political parties, and separate politics also have appeared.
An analysis of the Ukrainian segment of Internet content was carried out by Lande and Darmohval (1999, pp. 16-18):
About half of Ukrainian resources occupy "mirrors" of five Russian sites: Citforum (http://www.citforum.ru), Moscow's library (http://www.lib.ru), Infoart (http://www.infoart.ru), Moscow's collection of referats (http://www.referat.ru/teferat), and OSP (http://www.referat.ru/teferat).
A significant part of these resources covers full-text collections, so-called "libraries of technical literature" (in Russian and in English). Among them are the Technical Network Library of Kiev Polytechnic University (http://cad.ntu-kpi.kiev.ua) and the Fantastic Library of the National Institute of Strategic Researches (http://lit.niss.gov.ua).
A rather large part of Ukrainian resources includes mass media (press) archives. Most full lists of Ukrainian issues, approximately 100, are presented on the Web site of the Ukrainian press (http://uamedia.visti.net/link).
There is much information about Ukraine, its culture, and its history on Diaspora Web sites.
More than 50 sites are related to the domain area, gov.ua, Web sites of bodies of state authority; for example, the Supreme Body (Rada) of Ukraine Web site (http://www.rada.gov.ua) or the National Institute of Strategic Researches (http://www.niss.gov.ua).
Certain Ukrainian Web sites contain the majority of regulatory and legislative information. Among these, the unquestioned leader here is "LIGA" (http://www.liga.kiev.ua). About 15 per cent is occupied by three Web resource categories:
1) Internet provider Web servers;
2) other firm Web sites;
3) home pages by individual users of the network.
A most detailed analysis of the Ukrainian content of Internet, made using the Ukrainian search engine "Meta", can be seen at http://meta-ukraine.com/WINP/rs/ (Chuksin, 1999). A words rating was obtained by identifying the words most often used in the queries of "META" users. The words were reduced to the normal form (for example: for nouns nominative of singular). For the rating computation the words usually found in the queries not fewer than 30 times a month were selected. After this identification, these words were divided into thematic groups as follows:
Regions. Ukraine, Ukrainian, Ukrainian cities and regions names.
Business/production. Sale, equipment, enterprise, purchase, market, price, business, marketing, real estate, trade, advertising, firm, trade mark.
Education. Abstract, institute, education, library, course, university, literature, academy, teaching.
Internet/computers. Internet, provider, computer, server, program, search, site, mail, ftp, Delphi, Web, Internet, linux, download.
Sex/acquaintances. Sex, acquaintance, erotic, porno, girls.
Finances. Bank, currency, investments, NBU, finances, exchange, credit.
Entertainment. Photo, rest, chat, auto/moto, music, games, horoscope, sport, club, anecdote, games, bands, teams, or the names of celebrities (sportsmen, musicians).
Mass media. Newspaper, weather, radio, news, magazine, TV.
Job. Job, vacancy, work, résumé.
Law. Law, legislation, codex, establishment, names of state organs.
Tourism/foreign . Embassy, tourism, emigration, immigration; names of foreign countries.
Health. Medicine, medicine area and medical preparations, health.
Politics. Party, politicians names, parties' names.
The words that are synonymous in their meaning are not considered in the calculations.
The amount of queries in 20 popular words is shown in Table IV.
Table IV.Twenty popular words in Ukrainian Web sites, February 2000
Library electronic Internet resource development
The modern period of computerization in Ukraine is dependent on the development of a national information infrastructure and one of the main components of computerization is the
library network. There are not many digitized bibliographic resources in Ukraine and few advanced library services and electronic documents are available on the national networks of Ukraine because the development of these resources is just beginning. The survey of Library Web-sites of Ukraine has shown that their content and the necessary search services are still insufficient and considerably inferior not only to the Web pages of US libraries, but also to those of Russian libraries. A list of Ukrainian libraries can be seen in the Appendix.
There are few Library Web sites in Ukraine, but new ones are constantly added to the global network, mainly by universities. Among those now available are The National Library of Ukraine by Vernadskogo, Library of the House of America in Ukraine, Donetsk Regional Universal Scientific Library, Central Urban Library by Lesya Ukrainka (Kiev), Scientific Library of Ukrainian Kievo-Mogilyanskaya Academy, Library of the Dnepropetrovsk State University, Libraries of the Lvov Theological Academy, and the Library of the Kharkov State Polytechnic University.
The most successful example of a Ukrainian library Web site, which appeared in 1999, is the Web site of the largest Ukrainian library, the National Library of Ukraine by Vernadskogo (http://www.nbuv.gov.ua). On its pages are the electronic catalogue (more than 100,000 bibliographic descriptions of books), databases of dissertations (16,000), and abstracts of dissertations (21,000) defended in Ukraine. Electronic versions of full-text books, journals, and other information are also available here.
Among the most advanced University libraries, one finds the Scientific Library WWW pages at the Ukrainian Kievo-Mogilyanskaya Academy http://www.ukma.kiev.ua/ukmalib/index.html. This site presents some of its own bibliographic resources: electronic catalogue, databases, lists; other information and links about Library Associations, e.g. the Ukrainian Library Association, IFLA, and ALA.
Another advanced University Library is the Scientific Technical Library of the Kharkiv State Polytechnic University (http://www.kpi.kharkov.ua/library). In 1999, computer and Internet technology was introduced into the practical work of this library. The electronic catalogue now includes approximately 50,000 bibliographic records (since 1985). It has databases of periodical articles, new books, an electronic version of the Kharkiv newspaper, Official Bulletin, and others. These university libraries have both bibliographic resources and full-text electronic versions on their WWW pages. Their internal search tools are also developed.
In recent years the active development of regional computer library networks in Ukraine has been underway. The libraries of the city of Kharkiv have worked toward cooperation for a uniform regional computer library network with the goal of creating and exchanging electronic library information. This project was initiated and is supported actively now by the most advanced Internet provider in Ukraine, Kharkiv State Polytechnic University. So many city libraries, mainly those in the universities, have computerized databases and electronic catalogues, designed to work in a local mode, and in network. Among them it is necessary to note such Kharkiv library Web sites as the Scientific Technical library of the Kharkiv State Automobile and Highway Technical University (KSAHWTU) (http://www.khadi.kharkov.ua), and the Scientific Library of the Kharkiv Humanitarian Institute "People's Ukrainian Academy" (http://www.nua.kharkov.ua. These libraries and others provide Internet access to electronic catalogues, databases of periodical editions, articles, and, in particular, on Web site KSAHWTU the library provides an opportunity to search in databases for subjects, keywords, titles, authors, editors, indexes, or year and language of an edition. Of special interest for all libraries of the city is the information on "collections for exchange".
Among regional scientific libraries of Ukraine there has been created the first Web site of the Donetsk Regional Universal Scientific Library (http://www.library.donetsk.ua). The electronic catalogue, which has been replenished since 1994 in a local mode, includes approximately 25,000 records. A search system was developed and much content is devoted to regional materials about the Donetsk region, its resources, and its history.
The Higher School in Library and Information Sciences, Faculty of the Kharkiv State Academy of Culture, is beginning to work now on developing Web-based distance learning for humanitarian specialties including librarians. It is the first experience of distance learning material in Ukrainian on the Internet, "WWW service in Internet". It has two versions, Ukrainianand Russian ( http://www.ic.ac.kharkov.ua/000/index). It is intended for students, librarians, and teachers learning theoretical and practical material for this course, but it is used by students for other courses of this higher school, including "Fundamentals of the Internet"and "Bibliographic databases and the Internet". Students have an opportunity to move step by step learning Web-based material and to obtain theoretical knowledge and practical skills, after which they can check the quality of their knowledge by themselves on a five-mark rating scale. Thus, students participate in the realization of new educational tools which they can access not from a single training class but from any other class or computer location. It is only the first very simple step in the development of distance learning for a new generation of Ukrainian librarians.
The analysis of Ukrainian library Web sites from the perspective of their content has shown that there is a large duplication of the same international information as appears in global information space; however, that appearing on Ukrainian sites is dispersed, indicating further that Ukrainian library electronic resources are at an initial stage of "entry" to Internet.
Some general features of their development are characteristic:
Library Web sites give to users basically factografic (not bibliographic and not library) information, i.e. advertising; regional information.
The bibliographic content on Library Web sites cannot be recognized as being of high quality. Only a few university and national libraries give online access to their electronic catalogues and databases, and the majority of them are not updating their databases regularly. Hypertext technology is, for the most part, not used.
Guides (or directories) to Ukrainian library Web sites on the Internet are virtually absent in any language, Russian, Ukrainian, or English.
The analysis of characteristics of Library electronic Internet resources has great importance for assisting domestic librarians and information professionals to know the positive and negative features of library electronic Internet resource development, and to design Web sites more competently, paying special attention to the content of WWW pages.
This review of Ukrainian Internet resources was written early in the year 2000. Because of the rapid development of the Internet everywhere, the information provided in this article might well be dated or inaccurate by the time it appears in the published version. Because of this, readers must only conclude that the characterization of the Internet in Ukraine is a snapshot of a particular point in time and, as such, is of historical significance in understanding the evolution of the Internet in Ukraine.
References and Further Reading
Balyuk, V. (1999), "Ukrainskii segment Internet segodnya", Seti i telecommumicacii, Vol. 2 No. 8 (Russian).
Chuksin, A. (1999), "Research of Ukrainian segment of Internet on the search server 'Meta' Project Re:Search", (Presentation at the Conference "Internet new opportunities for development of business in Ukraine", retrieved 21.10.1999 at http://www.meta.kharkiv.net/WINP/rs/
Lande, D. and Darmohval, A. (1999), "Web-resursy Ukrainy: dwa goda spustya", Seti i telecommunicacii, Vol. 3 No. 9 (Russian).
Matov, O. (1998), "Rozvitok Internet v Ukraine", Internet-technologii v informacionnomu prostori derjavi: Materialy Pershoi Vseukrainskoi Conferencii (yalta-97) Kiev (Ukrainian).
List of Ukrainian Libraries on Internet
National Library of Ukraine by V. Vernadskogo (Kiev)http://www.nbuv.gov.ua
Lesya Ukrainka Public Library (Kiev)(English version)http://lucl.lucl.kiev.ua/
State Library of Ukraine for Children (Kiev)http://www.chl.kiev.ua/UKR/Chl_me.htm
State Library of Ukraine for Youth (Kiev)http://www.ukrlibworld.kiev.ua/uni/index.htm
State Scientific Medical Library of Ukraine (Kiev)http://www.ukrlibworld.kiev.ua/med/Start.htm
State Scientific Technical Library of Ukraine (Kiev)http://www.n-t.org/
Scientific Library by M. Macsimovicha Kiev National University by Taras Shevchenkohttp://www.univ.kiev.ua/eng/search/missing.phtml
Scientific Library of Ukrainian Kievo-Mogilyanskaya Academy (English version)http://www.ukma.kiev.ua/ukmalib/index.html
Library of Main Astronomical Observatory of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (English version)http://www.mao.kiev.ua/library.htm
Scientific Library of Lviv National University by I. Francohttp://blues.franko.lviv.ua/library/
The Revival of the Lviv Theological Academy: Libraryhttp://www.lta.lviv.ua/
Scientific Library of Ternopol State Technical University by I. Pulyuyahttp://tu.edu.te.ua/library/index.htm
Scientific Library of Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (Sevastopol, Crimea)(English version)http://www.ibss.iuf.net/biblio/biblio.html
Donetsk Regional Universal Scientific Library by N. Krupskayahttp://www.library.donetsk.ua/
Scientific Technical Library of Donetsk State Technical University (English version)http://www.library.dgtu.donetsk.ua/
Kirovograd Regional Universal Scientific Library by D. Chijevskogohttp://www.library.online.kr.ua:8102/
Scientific and Technical Library of the Kharkiv State Polytechnical Universityhttp://users.kpi.kharkov.ua/library
Scientific Technical Library of the Kharkiv State Automobile&HighWay Technical Universityhttp://www.khadi.kharkov.ua
Scientific library of the Kharkiv Humanitarian Institute "People's Ukrainian Academy"http://www.nua.kharkov.ua
Kharkiv Sity Specialized Music Theatre Library by K. Stanislavskogohttp://raix.kharkov.ua/Russian/Culture/Libraries/Stanislavsky/
Central Scientific Library of Kharkiv National University (English version)http://www-home.univer.kharkov.ua/library/
Ukrainian Higher Schools of Library and Information Science
Kyiv National University of Culture and Artshttp://www.knukim-edu.kiev.ua/
Kharkiv State Academy of Culturehttp://www.ic.ac.kharkov.ua
A List of Ukrainian Web sites can be seen at http://weblist.gu.net:8101/Kyiv/)
Victor Shchetinin is Director of the Center of New Information Technology of the Kharkiv State Polytechnic University, and the Technical Director of ISP "Kharkiv-Online". He is IATP-2 Eastern Ukraine Coordinator of the Internet Access and Training Program (IATP) of IREX (International Research and Exchanges Board). email@example.com
Lyudmyla Y. Filipova is Dean of the Faculty of Documentation and Information Science at Kharkiv State Academy of Culture (KhSAC), Doctor of Pedagogical Science and Professor of Information and Documentation Systems Department at KhSAC. From 23 February through 23 May 2000, she was Research Fellow USIA ACTR/ ACCELS RESP, at the University Library of the University of Illinois at Chicago. firstname.lastname@example.org
Victoria Spain is "International Librarianship" co-editor, Library Hi Tech News, and Bibliographic Services Librarian, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts. email@example.com
Les Pourciau is "International Librarianship" co-editor, Library Hi Tech News, the Director of Libraries (Retired), University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, and the Vice President of ILIAC, the International Library, Information, and Analytical Center, Washington, DC. firstname.lastname@example.org