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New & Noteworthy
Unveils Virtual Reality Complex
The Purdue University Envision Center for Data Perceptualization recently celebrated its grand opening with a virtual ribbon cutting opening ceremony, which was officiated by Purdue President Martin C. Jischke on April 12, 2004. The Envision Center's staff demonstrated to guests how its technologies support discovery and learning in many different fields of study. The interdisciplinary, high-performance visualization facility blends computer science, engineering, perception technology, and art to offer faculty access to emerging tools.
For example, Scott King, a professor of earth and atmospheric sciences in the School of Science, says the center's technology helps to analyze the flow of the Earth's mantle, movement that influences plate tectonics in the Earth's crust. Rick Chua, a neurosurgeon affiliated with Arnett Clinic, uses the center's technology to better image areas in the brain and spine. Melanie Morgan, assistant professor of communication in the School of Liberal Arts, is working on a project using a virtual audience to help students overcome a fear of public speaking. Faculty from the divisions of dance and theatre in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts are using motion capture technology to produce a live dance performance that incorporates 3D and 2D imagery and sound.
In the Envision Center's high-tech virtual reality Flex theater, people wearing 3D glasses can see images of complex structures such as storm systems and cellular life. Already the Center is involved with more than a dozen researchers overseeing projects using its virtual reality theater, which includes a large viewing area for students.
In addition to providing images with sight and sound, the Center's technologies offer sensory feedback. Through the use of haptic devices, such as a data glove, images can simulate solid objects. A user wearing a haptic glove can feel the texture, shape, or temperature of an image.
These complex images – complete with sight, sound, and sensory perceptualization – can be shared with researchers around the world over the Envision Center's next-generation telecommunications equipment. The center includes an access grid, a wall-sized group of high-resolution computer monitors linked to telecommunications equipment. The grid can share multiple streams of video and audio among hundreds of similar sites installed at universities, research institutions, and companies worldwide. When connected to the TeraGrid, a high-speed computer network for data transmission, the Envision Center will become one of the most capable facilities in the country for the practice of computational science.
The Center is organized under Information Technology at Purdue, which is responsible for planning and coordinating the central computing and telecommunications systems on campus. The Envision Center is a collaborative effort between the public and private sector, with funding provided by a grant from the National Science Foundation and by corporate partners including IBM, Intel, and Purdue.
Envision Center for Data Perceptualization: www.itap.purdue.edu/envision/
Project Integrates Content with Context for Archives
Encoded Archival Description (EAD) is a well-established standard for encoding archive finding aids. Encoded Archival Context (EAC) is a new standard for recording and exchanging information about creators of archive materials in the form of authority records with an emphasis on the provision of biographical or administrative histories for the persons or organizations concerned. As standards for encoding, EAD and EAC support the effective structuring and delivery of information about archives to users. However, as stand-alone tools, they cannot give users access to the actual content of archival material. Therefore, there is real potential for the development of a resource that enables the integration of EAD and EAC with other tools that do allow for remote use of the contents of archival collections.
The Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) enables electronic texts of all kinds to be searched and presented to users in a variety of different ways. When EAD, EAC and TEI are brought together alongside digitized images of archival material the potential benefits for users are vast.
The Linking EAD to Electronically Retrievable Sources (LEADERS) project, a research project based in the School of Library, Archive and Information Studies (SLAIS) at University College London (UCL), has developed a generic computer-based toolset that will enable the creation of an online environment which integrates EAD encoded finding aids and EAC authority records with TEI encoded transcripts and digitized images of archival material and is flexible enough to handle a wide variety of archives. A demonstrator application as an instance of what can be created using the LEADERS tools was released earlier this year. The demonstrator has been constructed to meet three main purposes:
To show the potential of having transcripts of archival documents presented alongside digitized images and contextual material, and to obtain user feedback on these functions.
To serve as an example of an application based on the LEADERS tools.
To illustrate the use of industry standard, open source components, each of which can be modified or extended in its own right.
The LEADERS project home page provides links to the demonstrator application and to extensive project documentation. The documentation provides background information on the creation of the demonstrator and toolkit as well as configuration and user documentation, and encoding information. A detailed report on the results from user testing of the demonstrator application is also available.
Making the Power of OAI-PMH Available to Web Servers, Crawlers
The Computer Science Department of Old Dominion University and the Research Library of the Los Alamos National Laboratory have announced the launch of the "mod_oai" project. The aim of the project is to create the mod_oai Apache software module that will expose content accessible from Apache Web servers via the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). The mod_oai project is generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Apache is an open-source Web server that is used by 63 percent – approximately 27 million – of the Web sites in the world. The OAI-PMH is a protocol to selectively harvest from data repositories. The protocol has had a considerable impact in the field of digital libraries but it has yet to be embraced by the general Web community. The mod_oai project hopes to achieve such broader acceptance by making the power and efficiency of the OAI-PMH available to Web servers and Web crawlers. For example, the planned OAI-PMH interface to Apache Web servers should allow responding to requests to collect all files added or changed since a specified date, or all files that are of a specified MIME-type.
The Apache Web server defines an extensible module format that allows specific functionality to be incorporated directly into the Web server. The mod_oai project will build such an Apache module that is able to respond to OAI-PMH requests pertaining to files made accessible by the Apache server. The mod_oai module will be developed under the GNU Public License (GPL) and distributed through sourceforge.net upon completion.
More information about the mod_oai project can be found at www.modoai.org
More information about the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting can be found at www.openarchives.org/
Release of JHOVE Now Available
JSTOR and the Harvard University Library have announced the availability of the beta release of JHOVE, an open source, extensible Java-based framework for the format-specific identification, validation, and characterization of digital objects. The development of JHOVE was funded in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Identification answers the question, "I have a digital object, what format is it?"; validation, "I have an object purportedly of format F, is it?"; and characterization, "I have an object of format F, what are its salient properties?" Object characteristics (technical metadata) can be displayed in a simple plain text format or as XML, using public schemas where appropriate, i.e. the MIX schema for raster still image metadata.
JHOVE uses an extensible plug-in architecture, with modules available for the following formats and profiles:
GIF – 87a, 89a.
JPEG – ISO 10918, JFIF, Exif, SPIFF, JTIP, JPEG-LS.
PDF – 1.0-1.4, Tagged, Linearized, PDF/X, PDF/A.
TIFF – 4.0-6.0, TIFF/IT, TIFF/EP, Exif, GeoTIFF, TIFF-FX, Class B, F, G, P, R, Y.
JHOVE is distributed as a set of jar files, for embedding JHOVE functionality into existing infrastructure, with additional driver classes for pre-built stand-alone applications, with command line and swing-based GUI interfaces. The JHOVE distribution is 100 percent Java and is self-contained, requiring only a J2SE 1.4 JRE. It has been tested under Solaris and Windows 2000/XP operating systems.
JHOVE is available under the terms of the GNU GPL license: http://hul.harvard.edu/jhove/distribution.html
JHOVE Web site: http://hul.harvard.edu/jhove/
New Software from Xerox Automatically Indexes, Categorizes, Routes Electronic Documents
Scientists at Xerox Corporation have invented powerful software that's clever enough to "read" an electronic document, decide how it should be classified by subject, then route it to the right person's e-mail address or online document management system – all completely automatically. The software, which is a categorizing tool, is intended to help businesses keep their e-document collections orderly and easily accessible, and it is available for licensing from Xerox.
"A misshelved book in a library might as well be lost. It's the same with documents that haven't been properly categorized; the document itself may have to be recreated", said Eric Gaussier, a research scientist at the Xerox Research Centre Europe (XRCE) in Grenoble, France. "Our new software can help save time and money and increase productivity. It will ensure that documents are properly classified for future retrieval and that the right information gets into the right hands as quickly as possible."
Categorizing tools currently available in the market treat each subject category independently of each other and are considered "flat". For example, although it might seem obvious to humans that biochemistry and biophysics are related categories of information, a flat categorization system would not make the connection. But the Xerox system uses a hierarchical model that is able to understand the dependency between those two categories and therefore make a more informed decision when classifying a document. According to data gathered from a pilot test of the software, people found the right documents more often and faster because the software understood relationships between documents and categories.
Three integrated functions make the Xerox categorization technology unique:
The system can start right away. Using advanced machine-learning techniques, with only a few examples it quickly learns by itself how to hierarchically classify documents in existing categories.
The technology is easy to use and helps people create a comprehensive way to turn unorganized e-files into cleanly labeled document collections.
The system can learn entirely new categories on its own. The categorization technology detects new or emerging topics and dynamically suggests new categories to the people who are using the system.
The Xerox categorizer system can handle documents written in up to 20 languages and can be easily adapted for specific customer requirements. The software intelligently routes documents to the right person based on a pre-set user profile. The categorization technology was developed by XRCE researchers based on their deep expertise in linguistic analysis and machine-learning techniques. The software is written in Java and can be deployed on multiple platforms including UNIX, Linux and Windows. The company anticipates the technology to be licensed by software vendors or corporations who wish to incorporate it into document systems focused on areas such as customer relationship management, information retrieval and data management.
Announces New Search Initiative
CrossRef has announced a new initiative that enables users to search the full text of high-quality, peer-reviewed journal articles, conference proceedings, and other resources covering the full spectrum of scholarly research from nine leading publishers. Called CrossRef Search, this new pilot program utilizes the collaborative environment of CrossRef, the reference-linking service for scholarly publishing, and GoogleTM search technologies.
CrossRef Search is available to all users, free of charge, on the Web sites of participating publishers, and encompasses current journal issues as well as back files. The results are delivered from the regular Google index but filter out everything except the participating publishers' content, and will link to the content on publishers' Web sites via Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) or regular URLs. CrossRef itself does not host any content or perform searches – CrossRef works behind the scenes with Google to facilitate the crawling of content on publishers' sites, and sets the policies and guidelines governing publisher participation in the initiative. As well as enabling CrossRef Search, the partnership with Google also means that full-text content from the publishers is also referenced by the main Google.com index in its more general searches. Participating publishers, with links to the CrossRef Search pages, are:
American Physical Society (http://prola.aps.org/xrs.html).
Annual Reviews (http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/search/external).
Association for Computing Machinery (http://portal.acm.org/xrs.cfm).
Blackwell Publishing (www.blackwellsynergy.com/servlet/useragent?func=showSearch&type=external).
Institute of Physics Publishing (www.iop.org/EJ/search).
International Union of Crystallography (http://journals.iucr.org/ (click "search" and scroll down the page).
Nature Publishing Group (www.nature.com/dynasearch/app/dynasearch.taf).
Oxford University Press (http://hmg.oupjournals.org/search.dtl (each journal's search page includes a link).
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (www3.interscience.wiley.com/crossref.html).
The CrossRef Search pilot will run through 2004 to evaluate functionality and to gather feedback from scientists, scholars and librarians for the purpose of fine-tuning the program. Participating publishers are also investigating how DOIs can be used to improve indexing of content and enable persistent links from search results to the full text of content at publishers' sites. CrossRef is also in discussion with other search engines.
More information about CrossRef is available at www.crossref.org
Launches New Search Service
Amazon.com has launched a new search service in beta called A9. The search is powered by Google but integrates some of the personalization features of the parent, Amazon, into the search interface.
The A9 site lists the following seven reasons to use A9:
Search inside the bookTM. In addition to Web search results they present book results from Amazon.com that include search inside the book. (You will need to be registered at Amazon.com).
Adjustable columns. Simply drag the boundaries between the columnseither to the left or the right to change the width of the different result sets (Web, books, history).
URL short cuts. At A9.com you can search directly from the browser URL box by typing: a9.com/query.
Search history. All your searches at A9.com are stored on their servers and shown to you at any time from any computer you use. Clicking on a link performs the search again. You can hide the window at any time. You can edit your history, for example, to clear an entry.
Click history. If any of the Web search results include a site that you have seen before, it is marked on the result. They even tell you the last time you visited that site.
Site info. Place the cursor on one of the Site Info buttons to see a lot more information about that site without leaving the search result page.
Web search. Web search results are provided by Google.
A9 Web site: http://a9.com
Sentient Learning and ePortaro
Launch Electronic Portfolio System in UK and Ireland
Sentient Learning has announced the launch of Folio by ePortaroTM, the innovative electronic portfolio system, for UK and Irish educational institutions. Electronic portfolios (e-portfolios) have already received significant uptake in the USA, Europe and Australia, enabling the student, academic and institution to build an extensive record of learning, reflections and achievements in electronic format – the e-portfolio.
Electronic portfolios are powerful collaboration and sharing tools for students, faculty and alumni owners. Folio encourages students to organize and share their learning achievements across a secure browser interface with selected individuals. Folio has been developed for the Web with full Internet accessibility and is also highly configurable, allowing the student or other owners of the portfolio to control which items are visible to different viewers. The ability to present the information in different formats for different audiences ensures that the e-portfolio fulfills the needs for personal development, personal achievement, and curriculum vitae for the students and the alumni.
ePortaro supports the EPIX specification in the Folio system. The ePortfolio Interoperability XML (EPIX) specification will allow disparate ePortfolio systems to speak a common language for discovery, integration, and synchronization without regard to implementation specific technology choices. The EPIX Specification is designed to leverage open Internet standards, including XML, SOAP, and HTTP to standardize the development of open ePortfolio system interfaces as well as to provide a roadmap for ePortfolio providers to build open, interoperable, standards-based applications.
Sentient Learning: www.sentientlearning.com/
ePortaro, Inc.: www.eportaro.com/
ePortfolio Interoperability XML specification: www.epixspec.org/
New Web Publishing Service
Information technology publisher O'Reilly has begun beta-testing a new Web content publishing product called SafariU. This product is aimed at information technology educators who want to create, customize and share teaching materials from a variety of sources for specific classes creating a class text or syllabus.
The product is designed to allow the educator to:
Create custom textbooks, pulling in material from over 2,000 O'Reilly and Pearson books available through Safari® Tech Books Online,as well as thousands of O'Reilly Network articles, and a repository of learning objects developedby peers.
Create online syllabuses, building an online syllabus that organizes and links to Safari and all course materials, including custom books. Students can access the full content of any book referenced in the syllabus or custom book via their own Safari course subscription.
Upload and share personal material. Use content developed by peers and available within the Learning Object Exchange, or upload and use personal materials, including Word files, PDFs, PowerPoint slides, multimedia files, and JPEGs, within the custom book or online syllabus.
For more information on SafariU: http://academic.oreilly.com/safariu-more.csp
Question & Answer Transaction Protocol
Released for Trial Use
Digital reference services constitute a new but rapidly growing extension of the traditional reference service offered to library patrons. While the service may be delivered via real-time chat or asynchronous e-mail, the essential characteristic of the service is the ability of the patron to submit questions and to receive answers via electronic means. There is a growing interest in evolving localized network reference services into more fully interconnected, collaborative reference services.
NISO Standards Committee AZ – Networked Reference Services – has developed an extensive set of use cases from which a functional model and protocol specification have been derived. The Question/Answer Transaction Protocol documents include:
Overview. Describes the goals, audiences, and anticipated uses and benefits for these various audiences.
Use cases. Descriptions of the many activities and specialized capabilities needed in the protocol, from a user perspective.
Functional model. Model of the use cases that the protocol is required to support.
Protocol specification. Specification of a set of rules for communication between two systems to carry out the activities identified in the functional model.
The Draft Networked Reference Standard supporting Q&A between library users and reference sources has been released for a one-year trial use period: April 5, 2004-April 5, 2005. This new standard defines a method and structure for data exchange between digital reference service domains. During the trial use phase implementers are invited to test the standard and provide feedback on how it works in implementation scenarios.
The Draft Standard for Trial Use (DSFTU) is located at: www.loc.gov/standards/netref
American Council of Learned Societies
Launches Commission on Cyberinfrastructure
As scholars in the humanities and social sciences use digital tools and technologies with increasing sophistication and innovation, they are transforming their practices of collaboration and communication. New forms of scholarship, criticism, and creativity proliferate in arts and letters and in the social sciences, resulting in significant new works accessible and meaningful only in digital form. Many technology-driven projects in these areas have become enormously complex and at the same time indispensable for teaching and research. The recent National Science Foundation report, Revolutionizing Science and Engineering through Cyberinfrastructure, argues for large-scale investments across all disciplines to develop the shared technology infrastructure that will support ever-greater capacities. Those capacities would include the development and deployment of new tools; the rapid adoption of best practices; interoperability; the ability to invoke services over the network; secure sharing of facilities; long-term storage of and access to important data; and ready availability of expertise and assistance.
The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), a private non-profit federation of 68 national scholarly organizations, is sponsoring a national commission to investigate and report on these issues. The Commission on Cyberinfrastructure for the Humanities & Social Sciences will operate throughout 2004, and is charged to:
describe and analyze the current state of humanities and social science cyberinfrastructure;
articulate the requirements and the potential contributions of the humanities and the social sciences in developing a cyberinfrastructure for information, teaching, and research; and
recommend areas of emphasis and coordination for the various agencies and institutions, public and private, that contribute to the development of this cyberinfrastructure.
Over the course of 2004, the commission will investigate the issues above, and others as they become relevant, by:
inviting expert testimony in public meetings, in writing, or in personal interviews;
examining and documenting ongoing practices and projects;
administering a Web-based survey;
reading broadly in recent literature on scholarly publishing, libraries and archives, intellectual property, and other relevant topics; and
consulting with foundations and funding agencies.
More information, including how to subscribe to the cyberinfrastructure listserv and notes from the public information-gathering sessions, is available at the Commission's Web site.
Announce Update of Framework for Good Digital Collections
A new version of the Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections is now freely available from the National Information Standards Organization (NISO). The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) transferred maintenance of the Framework to NISO in September 2003; the update is the first product of NISO's advisory group formed to contribute to the document's further development.
The framework provides a set of high-level principles for identifying, organizing, and applying existing knowledge and resources to collections of digital resources. For each category of collections, objects, metadata, and projects, the framework defines general principles relating to quality and provides a list of supporting resources such as standards, guidelines, best practices, explanations, discussions, clearinghouses, and case studies. Originally prepared in 2001 under the auspices of the IMLS, the framework has earned wide recognition in the library and museum communities and the endorsement of the chief officers of state library associations as well as the Digital Library Federation.
NISO's advisory group that developed the update is composed of experts from the digital resources community: Priscilla Caplan, chair (Florida Center for Library Automation), Grace Agnew (Rutgers University), Rebecca Guenther (Library of Congress), Ingrid Hsieh-Yee (Catholic University), and Leonard Steinbach (Cleveland Museum of Art). The advisory group will continue to aggressively reexamine the framework. Readers are invited to send their comments and suggestions to email@example.com on how to improve and expand the framework.
National Library of New Zealand
Comparative Review of Common User Interface Software
In 2002 the National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Mtauranga o Aotearoa) commissioned a Master of Library and Information Studies paper at the School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington. The paper, on common user interface software, has been presented in fulfillment of that course and is now available at the National Library's Web site.
As a subset of library portal products, common user interfaces aim to provide a single point of access to resources such as e-journals, electronic documents, databases of indexed or full-text journal articles, as well as an OPAC and traditional print-based collections. Common user interface software offers users a consistent search process and shields them from differences in design and functionality across library resources. The aim of the research was to evaluate these products in light of the specific needs of New Zealand libraries.
The results of the research are drawn from:
a survey sent to selected New Zealand librarians who were asked to rate common user interface features; and
a survey of software vendors to collect information about their products: these results include a detailed evaluation of each product's performance against set criteria and an overall weighted ranking.
The full version of the report is available as a PDF file. Any views or opinions presented in the report are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the National Library.
CNI and CLIR Report
on Creating an Image Retrieval Benchmarking Service
The rapid increase in the quantity of visual materials in digital libraries – supported by significant advances in digital imaging technologies – has not been supported by a corresponding advance in image retrieval technologies and techniques. Digital librarians sense that much could be done to improve access to visual collections and hope, perhaps vainly, that users' needs to identify relevant digital visual resources might be met more satisfactorily through search strategies based on visual characteristics rather than on textual metadata associated with the image, which are expensive to produce. However, digital librarians currently have no tools for evaluating either content-based or metadata-based image retrieval systems. Consequently, they have difficulty assessing existing systems of image access, evaluating proposed changes in these systems, or comparing metadata-based and content-based image retrieval.
Some have proposed benchmarking as a solution to this problem. An image retrieval benchmark database could provide a controlled context within which various approaches could be tested. Equally important, it might provide a focus for image retrieval research and help bridge the significant divide between researchers exploring these two search paradigms: metadata-based vs content-based image retrieval. If so, such a database could spur advances in research, as comparative results make it possible to evaluate the effectiveness of particular strategies and thereby add value to studies supported by many funding agencies.
A recent report prepared for the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) and the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) examines the feasibility of an image retrieval benchmarking service, and its possible role in speeding the development and deployment of image retrieval technology for the digital library. Comments on the report, Image Retrieval Benchmark Database Service: A Needs Assessment and Preliminary Development Plan, are requested.
Text version of report: www.clir.org/pubs/reports/trant04/tranttext.htm
PDF version: www.clir.org/pubs/reports/trant04/tranttext.pdf
Library of Congress
Collaborates on Research into Preservation of "Grooved Media"
The Preservation Directorate of the Library of Congress has entered into an interagency agreement with the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to conduct research into media preservation. The work will explore the feasibility of implementing several preservation methods that Berkeley Lab has developed for grooved media such as recorded cylinders and discs.
"With thousands of grooved discs and cylinders in the Library's collections, the possibility of developing a method of mass digitization to enhance both access and preservation is very attractive", said Mark Roosa, the library's director for preservation. "The groundbreaking research that our colleagues at Berkeley Lab are undertaking signals an important new direction for preservation of collections of this type, which we hope will be of benefit to libraries and archives everywhere."
The goal of the work is to acquire data about media in various conditions (e.g. pristine, worn, damaged, moldy, etc.) using 3D surface imaging techniques and then to use this data as a basis for developing a system to enhance access to recorded sound.
Supported by the Department of Energy's Office of Science, the Physics Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has been conducting research in elementary particle physics and cosmology. As part of this research, various techniques have been developed for detecting and analyzing the behavior of particles and radiation created at high-energy accelerator labs such as Fermilab near Chicago and the European Center for Particle Physics near Geneva. Berkeley Lab researchers realized that some of their findings could be applied to the problem of reconstructing mechanical audio recordings.
"Such developments are a good example of how basic or pure research in the physical sciences can benefit other fields of science and culture", said Carl Haber, senior scientist in the Berkeley Lab's Physics Division.
The Berkeley Lab Web site: www.lbl.gov
The Library of Congress Preservation Directorate Web site: www.loc.gov/preserv/
Attains Millionth Image Milestone
PictureAustralia, a collaborative Internet-based service hosted by the National Library of Australia, allows users to search the online pictorial collections of many cultural agencies from the one Web site. The service commenced in 1998 with five participating organizations and 470,000 images; it has grown to 34 organizations and as of April 2004 has added its one-millionth image.
The millionth PictureAustralia image, which comes from the Australian War Memorial's collection, is that of heroic Australian army nurse Vivian Bullwinkel, the sole survivor of the Banka (Sumatra) massacre of the Second World War. In a national celebration of ANZAC day and Vivian Bullwinkel's achievements during wartime and as a civilian, a picture trail is being developed drawn from the collections of PictureAustralia contributors showing women at war.
Jan Fullerton, Director-General, National Library of Australia commented on PictureAustralia's significant benefits. "Within a relatively short period of time PictureAustralia has become not only Australia's, but also one of the world's premier image services, and a model that has been copied by libraries in Canada and New Zealand. Its strength lies in the partnership with the other cultural organizations whose collections bring such a variety of images and information about Australia. Once added to PictureAustralia they become easily available through a single search process."
Visit www.pictureaustralia.org for the one millionth image and accompanying picture trail.
Opens Information Architecture Library
The Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture (AIfIA) has announced the opening of the Information Architecture Library, an international collection of the best articles, books, blogs, guides, reports, and other resources related to the field of information architecture.
The IA Library was developed by Joanna Markel and Jeff Tang, two graduate students at the University of Michigan's School of Information. Chiara Fox, Austin Govella, and Peter Morville provided support and served as mentors.
The IA Library's collection is still under development. It is adding new resources, particularly in languages other than English, to create a more well-rounded collection. In addition, AIfIA is actively seeking a volunteer library director to oversee the continued development of this important public service.
Anyone interested in volunteering to help with the IA Library, or knowing of a resource which should be included, may send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
IA Library Web site: http://aifia.org/library/
Database of Phishing Scams
Two New Databases of Timely Interest
Phishing scams are e-mail scams that take the form of e-mails purporting to come from legitimate institutions or companies, which ask the recipient to resolve a problem. It requires the recipient to go to a Web site, which is not the Web site of the legitimate institution, and divulge personal information which facilitates identity theft. The database of Phishing Scams provides a list of scams divided by date, company being faked, and title of the phish. Additional information about the phish that is available includes: summary data (scam target, e-mail format, goal, visible link, called link, etc.), e-mail, and some comments about the phish to further identify it.
Anti-phishing Web site: www.antiphishing.org/
Open Source Vulnerabilities Database (OSVDB) is an independent and open source database created by and for the security community. Their goal is to provide accurate, detailed, current, and unbiased technical information on security vulnerabilities.
OSVDB Web site: www.osvdb.org/
Academic Educational Resource Subject Directory
Academic Info is a subject directory aimed at providing organized access to online academic (upper high school level and above) educational resources arranged by academic discipline. They add between 150 and 300 new resources each month and have been in existence for six years. They have a clearly stated collection development policy (www.academicinfo.net/cdp.html).
Directory Web site: www.academicinfo.net/
Online Learning Book
Available for Download
The book Theory and Practice of Online Learning, edited by Terry Anderson and Fathi Elloumi is now available for free download, under a Creative Commons license. Athabasca University has published it as an open source book.
The book presents the theory, administration, tools, and methods of designing and delivering learning online through a collection of works by active scholars and practitioners in the field of distance education.
Book download: http://cde.athabascau.ca/online_book/
Creative commons: http://creativecommons.org/
in Libraries Discussion List
Margaret E. Hazel, Principal Librarian for Technology at Eugene Publish Library has announced the creation of a new discussion list. RFID_LIB is a new online email forum for libraries to discuss the uses and implications of using Radio Frequency Identification technology in libraries. RFID is currently a hot topic in the library community as a method of controlling inventory, offering self-check, and using automated materials handling. The technology is developing rapidly, and this is a chance to get in on the ground floor of creating a potentially powerful tool for libraries. There currently are a small number of vendors offering RFID technology to libraries in the USA and around the world. At the same time, there are public concerns about privacy and health issues, and there are similar technologies being developed in the commercial and defense arenas. This forum offers a chance for librarians to discuss the issues and keep abreast of developments.
Audience. All types of libraries, (library leadership, circulation staff and automation staff), and RFID-interested library vendors.
Subscription information: http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/ecommunication/electroniclists.htm