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New & Noteworthy
ingentaPublishes Findings on "Subscription versus Document Delivery"
In collaboration with the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information, the independent ingenta institute is to publish the findings of their research project on "The relationship between journal subscriptions and document delivery and the impact of online delivery on article distribution" in three phases this year. The project aims to tackle the complex area of subscriptions, document delivery, interlibrary loans and consortia deals, and examine all the issues in an independent and impartial study.
The first phase, published in May 2001, took "subscriptions versus document delivery" as its theme. The complete findings of this comparative study will be available late in the year and will form the basis of a meeting to be held at the Royal Society in London on September 25, and in Boston, USA later in the Autumn. The second phase of published findings concentrates on the "study of end-user needs and behaviour in terms of electronic article delivery" and the third report will form an integrated report summary.
This is the ingenta institute's third annual research project, the project for 2000 having been on distance learning, which culminated in the seminar "The School for Life: The Electronic Future of Higher Education and Long-life Learning".
ingenta institute: http://www.ingenta.com/home/fs_ingentainstitute.htm
NISOForms Committee to Develop OpenURL Standard
The National Information Standards Organization (NISO), the only US group accredited by the American National Standards Institute to develop technical standards for use in libraries and related information services, has formed a committee to develop the OpenURL standard. The committee, which is chaired by Eric F. Van de Velde of the California Institute of Technology and representatives of libraries, publishers and other information providers, will begin with the OpenURL syntax developed by Herbert Van de Sompel, Patrick Hochstenbach and Oren Beit-Arie, which is currently being used by many publishers of scholarly information. The committee is then asked to build a syntax for Web-transportable packages of metadata and identifiers about an information object, which is of key importance in open link or context-sensitive technology.
This new standard will allow information providers to connect their clients more directly to any resource they choose, and a variety of related resources may also be made available. Standardization will also enable user-specific services to be made available within scholarly communications and other fields; for instance, product descriptions could be linked to technical support services targeted at specific user categories.
In May ISI launched a new site, which gives free access to information about the world's most cited and influential scientific authors, providing a new resource for those working in any scientific field. Users of the service will be able to access a range of information about each author, searchable by the individual's name, by category, country and institutional affiliation. The biographical information includes current research interests and the publication information includes Internet resources as well as journals, books and conference proceedings. Approximately 19 million articles and records in 21 broad categories in life sciences, medicine, physical sciences, engineering and social science have been evaluated to determine who the most highly cited researchers are within each discipline, and researchers are included based on the total number of citations that their articles receive within a given category.
As relevant new material is published daily, the site will be regularly updated. It launched with access to records in the fields of neuroscience, engineering, physics and chemistry and will have 17 additional disciplines added by the end of the year.
Swets Blackwell and IBMIntroduce Tools to Allow Online Subscription Management
On April 1, Swets Blackwell and IBM implemented the first phase of a joint project to allow corporate clients and end-users to manage their own subscriptions online, although it is intended that the service should also be of benefit to Swets Blackwell's academic, research, medical and government library and information centre clients. Using the new tools clients will have access to online ordering, cancelling and claiming as well as to use approval services. This first phase allows corporate clients to place orders by linking out from their existing e-procurement systems. The second phase, to be implemented on July 1, will give full subscription management capabilities to those clients without e-procurement systems.
AHDSReleases New Digitization Case Studies
The Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) has released three new examples of good digitization practice, which are now available as part of its case studies collection. The first study, "Restoring Harmony: The Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music", is concerned with a project to digitize and restore fragments of medieval polyphony. A team of musicologists has been digitally restoring fragments of medieval scores and bringing previously invisible notation to light. The second study reports on the steps taken to ensure that high-quality digital versions of Suffragette banners could be made. The banners are held by the Women's Library at Guildhall University, and this project has ensured not only that their images are now preserved, but that the public can have increased access to them. The third study focuses on the benefits and difficulties of digitally cataloguing the enormous correspondence output of Charles Darwin and James McNeill Whistler.
Information about all these studies is available from the Web site below, which also has information about other digitization projects and their components, including a report on the funding history of a large-scale digitization project and a report on the skills needed to manage such a project.
AHDS: c/o Alastair Dunning, Information, Training and Research. Tel: 020 7928 7848; http://ahds.ac.uk/casestudies/casestudies.html
OCLCProvides New Updates for FirstSearch
The Online Computer Library Centre Inc. (OCLC) has recently added a number of new features to its FirstSearch service, many of which have been prepared in response to user suggestions. The enhancements include automatic notification of per-search account status, which is a customization option that allows account administrators to implement an administration module which provides e-mail notification when a per-search account falls below a locally-defined minimum. Another new feature is the new ability given to users of ABI/inform and INSPEC databases to limit searches to material available in their local library collections. The full text delivery feature now includes new on-screen information which has been revised in consultation with OCLC advisory groups, and the online help function has been expanded. There are also now an extra 54 journals from 13 publishers which have been added to Electronic Collections Online, now bringing the total number of journals available online through the service to 3,189.
OCLC: c/o Sharon Warne, Coordinator, PALINET/3401 Market St, PA 191040-3744; http://www.oclc.org
NetminingLaunches Simultaneous Web Site Translator
The new Netmining Translation Server (NTS) allows any Web site to be made available in several languages simultaneously, and so provides a useful tool for any institution which uses or provides multilingual Web capability. The process is carried out using memory translation which acts as a multilingual dictionary for whichever language the Web site is being released in, and so does away with the need for splitting the Web server into several different modules, or for buying a separate server for each language version required; furthermore NTS can work with any operating system. Another advantage that the new system has over translation engines is that, while they rely on pre-programmed grammatical rules and dictionaries and can produce serious inaccuracies because of a failure to grasp the context of the material, NTS uses professional translators who enter translations into a customised online dictionary.
Netmining: c/o Maarten Van Laere, CEO. Tel: +32 1639 4810; Fax: +32 1639 4816; firstname.lastname@example.org
British LibrarySurvey Reveals Willingness to Adopt MARC21
A consultation exercise carried out by the British Library with key users of its National Bibliographic Service has revealed a willingness by the UK library community to fully convert to MARC21, the standard format for the exchange of catalogue information, which is used in the USA, Canada and several other parts of the world. The British Library has been working with the US Library of Congress and the National Library of Canada to bring the UK and North American formats into closer alignment, and the recent survey revealed that only 7 percent of respondents wanted to retain UKMARC, whilst 30 percent would prefer partial harmonization and 57 percent wanted full conversion to MARC21.
The British Library will now begin to develop plans for the transition to the new standard and will issue a "white paper" in the summer, which will discuss transitional arrangements and the extent to which UK libraries will be allowed input into the running of MARC21. Full transition will have a variety of advantages including making it possible for UK users to download bibliographic records from a wider range of Internet sources and superior resources for future development.
British Library: survey results available from http://www.bl.uk/services/bsds/nbs/marc/result1.html
IFLAParticipates in MEDLIB
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has agreed to participate in Unesco's Internet-based virtual library network for the Mediterranean region (MEDLIB) project. The unique multi-cultural crossroads formed by the Mediterranean basin makes it an ideal area for a project to use the most sophisticated information technologies for the benefit of intercultural encounters and exchanges. The IFLA will conduct a survey of catalogues of Mediterranean libraries in the light of their availability on the Internet, and participating institutions will be selected on the grounds of availability of large collections in the areas of either "National heritage" or "Contemporary issues" which are related to regional needs. Enabling the accessing of these materials through a harmonised gateway will allow Mediterranean and Arab users to benefit from an expanded information resource.
MEDLIB: project details available from http://www.unesco.org/webworld/mediter/medlib.htm#BM_3_
ALAFiles Suit to Overturn CIPA; Pro-Filter Group Holds Press Conference
The American Library Association filed a lawsuit on March 20, to overturn the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which mandates the use of blocking technology on computers in public libraries. The ALA believes that this legislation is unconstitutional, because it restricts access to constitutionally protected information available on the Internet at public libraries.
Commenting on the litigation which was filed with ten other co-litigants, ALA President, Nancy Kranich, said "Forcing libraries to choose between funding and censorship means that millions of library users will lose particularly those in the most poverty-stricken and geographically isolated areas of the country. The federal government should not be subsidizing commercial filtering companies by forcing libraries to buy technology that doesn't work."
For further information regarding CIPA go to ALA's CIPA Web site at: http://www.ala.org/cipa
DIG35 StandardA Consortium Creates a New Standard that Makes Finding Images Easier
The digital imaging industry has developed a crucial new standard that will allow computers to efficiently find pictures based on metadata, or text that describes each image. The DIG35 Metadata Specification provides a cohesive and consistent set of metadata definitions to the imaging industry. DIG35 provides the first persistent way for digital images to become rich, completely self-contained sources of information, regardless of where they travel on the global network. With millions of digital images now produced yearly, this capability is critical for enabling users to effectively organize, find, retrieve and share their images instantly.
DIG35 member companies, Adobe Systems Inc., AGFA-GEVAERT N.V., Canon Inc., Eastman Kodak Company, Fuji Photo Film Co. Ltd, HP, Microsoft Corporation, NETIMAGE, PhotoChannel Networks Inc., PhotoWorks Inc., PictureIQ Corporation, Polaroid Corporation, and WorkStation.com have collaborated for 18 months to create a robust platform agnostic, application and file format independent set of metadata for describing elements of an image.
For more information: http://www.digitalimaging.org/