New & Noteworthy

Library Hi Tech News

ISSN: 0741-9058

Article publication date: 1 August 2004



(2004), "New & Noteworthy", Library Hi Tech News, Vol. 21 No. 7.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

New & Noteworthy

Serious Games

Applying Game Technologies to Public Policy and Management Issues

The Serious Games Initiative was founded at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, DC. The initiative is focused on uses for games in exploring management and leadership challenges facing the public sector. Part of its overall charter is to help forge productive links between the electronic game industry and projects involving the use of games in education, training, health, and public policy.

The goal of the Initiative is to help usher in a new series of policy education, exploration, and management tools utilizing state of the art computer game designs, technologies, and development skills. As part of that goal, the Serious Games Initiative also plays a greater role in helping to organize and accelerate the adoption of computer games for a variety of challenges facing the world today. The Initiative is most interested in working to address four interrelated questions:

  1. 1.

    What public policy and management issues or challenges are most amenable’to computer-based gaming techniques?

  2. 2.

    What existing and emerging game technologies (such as multi-user, virtual environments) might be particularly useful when applied to policy or management issues?

  3. 3.

    How can we quickly expand the application of computer-based games to a much wider range of key challenges facing our government’and other public or private organizations?

  4. 4.

    How do we identify and proactively’deal with any social, ethical, and/or legal issues that might arise through the application of game-based tools to public policy and management issues?

Since 2002 the Initiative has published several papers and articles and hosted a major workshop in February 2003 that resulted in design treatments for several serious games for parks, hospitals, and high schools. These treatments are now being shown to a number of organizations that may result in their development.

The Initiative has also begun hosting a series of meetings aimed at helping the area of "serious games" emerge into an organized industry of developers and development studios skilled at using cutting-edge entertainment technologies to solve problems in areas as diverse as education, health-care, national defense, homeland security, analytics, corporate management and more.

Over the last several years such projects have begun to emerge as an important outgrowth of the gaming industry. The number of non-entertainment games under development is rapidly increasing. The appreciation for the ideas, skills, technologies, and techniques used in commercial entertainment games is at an all-time high. Many commercial games are already in use for purposes other than entertainment. Titles such as SimCity, Civilization, Hidden Agenda, and others have been used as learning tools in schools and universities across the globe.

As a result, a new field of computer and video games, applied to non-entertainment purposes, has the capability to become a new hotbed of activity. This field is growing steadily, and represents a significant new opportunity for game developers, as well as interactive development tool and technology providers.

More information, including access to the Initiative's newsletter, Serious News About Games Generating Educational Development (SNAGGED) is available at the Initiative's Web site:

Data Fountains

Open Source Internet Resource Discovery and Metadata/ Full-Text Generation Service

Data Fountains is a cooperative Internet resource discovery, metadata generation and selected, full-text harvesting service of value in building Internet resource collections for libraries and virtual libraries. It incorporates new approaches in automated and semi-automated Web crawling and classification, thus providing machine assistance and time and labor savings to collection builders.

Recently funded by an IMLS National Leadership Grant, the Data Fountains research and development project is intended to yield an efficient, inexpensive, national and international level information utility whose service and products include shared Internet resource discovery, metadata, and rich, full-text. It will be of benefit to most IPVLCs (Internet portals, virtual libraries and library catalogs with portal-like capabilities), ranging from very general to very specialized collection focuses, and their twenty-first century users. The Data Fountains system and service will be developed through research that will provide technological solutions to some of the major overall problems associated with the scalability of IPVLCs. As such, Data Fountains contributes to providing a foundation for technologically augmenting and bringing forward to the learning community the collection building craft, vision, discernment, experience, and standards of librarians in a new medium and millennium. The project research is based on applying machine learning techniques to automate a number of very laborious and costly IPVLC activities. Specific IPVLC scaling challenges that this project is attempting to resolve include the following: the ever-increasing number of important Internet resources; redundant efforts among IPVLCs (both in content and systems building); tasks which are very labor-intensive, require significant expertise, and which are costly to achieve.

By inexpensively providing their universally needed raw materials, i.e. metadata and full-text representing important Internet resources, the proposed Data Fountains service will offer major support and resource savings to cooperating IPVLC participants that otherwise have strong ongoing commitments to their established institutional identity or "brand", interface presentation or look, system and, more generally, "established ways of doing things". The key to Data Fountains viability and sustainability is that it provides a valuable, universally needed service and very "generic" products that do not require established IPVLCs to substantially change. Data Fountains greatly lowers the barriers for substantive cooperation and resource savings on the part of large numbers of IPVLCs. The core notions here are that the products Data Fountains creates will be universally useful to IPVLCs, usage of these products does not require change on the part of IVPLCs, and the service as a whole should function as a powerful tool for inducing greater cooperation very quickly among large numbers of IVPLCs. From the common ground of mutual interest in Data Fountains products, it is hoped that other commonalities and areas of naturally-shared interests among IPVLCs can be more fully articulated and result in other substantive, cooperative efforts.

Extenza e-Publishing Services

Implements Google Indexing of e-Journal Content

Extenza e-Publishing Services has announced the Google indexing of ejournal content held on the Extenza e-Publishing Services journal hosting platform. The implementation of this functionality will enable Google to index all content, held in either Adobe PDF or full text HTML, which will provide enhanced search results on Google for end users.

Extenza, based in Abingdon, UK, provides conversion and hosting of journals for publishers, as well as subscription and usage statistics management for libraries. Google is the foremost search engine on the Web and has been expanding its reach into the academic and scholarly journal marketplace.

"Increasingly, users are turning to Google as the place to locate information in the academic marketplace. Extenza has recognized that enabling the indexing of content by Google, with the publishers' agreement, helps users find that important piece of data that they are seeking. For publishers, this drives utilization and traffic to their content, with potential benefits in revenue," said Ruth Jones, general manager of Extenza e-Publishing Services.

Extenza e-Publishing:


A Networked Interface for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship

Over the past ten years a growing body of digital scholarly work has been undertaken, much of it put online, nearly all of it executed without peer review processes, none of it integrated (except by hyperlinking). NINES is a project to found a publishing environment for integrated, peer-reviewed online scholarship centered in nineteenth-century studies, British and American.

NINES believes it is clearly in the interest of scholars to coordinate our work. We know that the migration of scholarship from paper-based to digital platforms and networks, already underway, will only grow apace. Scholars and educators must act on our own behalf if we are to help shape the form and result of this migration. To that end, NINES was created as a way for excellent work in digital scholarship to be produced, vetted, (eventually) published, and recognized by the discipline.

NINES will liaise with interested publishing venues on behalf and in the interests of scholars and educators and the work we produce. NINES will include various kinds of content: traditional texts and documents, editions, critical works of all kinds – as well as "born-digital" works that relate to all aspects of nineteenth-century culture. NINES will be a model and working example for scholarship that takes advantage of digital resources and internet connectivity. It will provide scholars with access to a uniformly coded textual environment and a suite of computerized analytic and interpretive tools. A key goal of NINES is to go beyond presenting static images or transcriptions of manuscripts on-screen. Software tools that aid collation, comparative analysis, and enable pedagogical application of scholarly electronic resources expose the richness of the electronic medium.

A primary function of NINES is to aggregate large bodies of ninteenth century material (primary and secondary resources) and provide access to them through a common interface. This means that materials will be easily integrated into the NINES toolset and available for comparison through Juxta (a text comparison and collation tool for XML files and the image files that stand behind the XML transcriptions), transformation through Ivanhoe (a playspace for collaborative interpretational work), collection and exhibit through Collex (a flexible environment for collecting and exhibiting digital resources), and reflective reading through the Patacritical Demon (a markup tool for allowing a reader to record and observe his or her interpretive moves through a textual field).

In addition, work is underway on developing search and display interfaces that will provide a common gateway to NINES material. A rudimentary search interface (only acting on a few Rossetti Archive and Romantic Circles files) is available as a demonstration of this concept. A related project to redesign the Rossetti Archive (from which the Collex tool stems) will generate ideas and serve as a test-bed for NINES.

Rossetti Archive:

Romantic Circles:


Develops and Distributes Historical and Archaeological Digital Resources

The Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI) is a global consortium incorporating scholars in the humanities, social sciences and history; archivists, librarians and curators; members of non-governmental organizations, and information technology researchers. Anyone in these categories is encouraged to become an affiliate of the Cultural Atlas.

ECAI welcomes many kinds of collaboration:

  • Scholars, librarians and curators developing digital projects that can be visualized in time and space are invited to create and publish their work in a way that is compatible with that of ECAI and to register metadata in the ECAI clearinghouse so that the project is visible and interoperable.

  • Information technology researchers with expertise in the areas of interest to ECAI are invited to collaborate with ECAI technical teams to enhance the capabilities and robustness of the ECAI system.

  • Researchers, educators and members of the public who have an interest in maps and culture may use the cultural atlas freely for educational or personal purposes.

ECAI Iraq Cultural Atlas is a notable current project of ECAI, providing a temporal-spatial portal into existing digital resources about history, cultural sites, archaeological excavations and heritage preservation initiatives. The data covering Iraqi and Mesopotamian material culture is found on hundreds of Web sites around the world. Users can access these information sources using interactive, time-enabled thematic maps. Owners of these resources retain control of their content and the ability to update it at any time. By using time and space to integrate the large number of digital resources, ECAI Iraq attempts to address one aspect of the current crisis of Iraqi cultural heritage.

ECAI Iraq:

Michigan Digitization Project

Empowers Libraries to Contribute to Digital Collections

The Making of Modern Michigan is a project to empower libraries throughout the state of Michigan to contribute to a digital collection about the state's history. The project provides opportunities for training in digitization techniques, copyright issues, and metadata standards, and provides access to digitization equipment and technical assistance in regional digitization centers located throughout the state. Incentive grants are available to assist libraries with limited staff to participate and provide wider access to their unique materials on Michigan history.

The Web site includes links to the digital collections and to resources on inventory and metadata systems, copyright resources, grants, tutorials, equipment, standards and services.

The Making of Modern Michigan is a project of Action Team for Library Advancement Statewide (ATLAS), an initiative of the Library of Michigan. Michigan State University serves as the administrative host for the project, in cooperation with the Library of Michigan, the Michigan Library Consortium, and six regional digitization centers. The project is funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

Project Web site:

IU Sheet Music

Web Site Launched

The Indiana University Digital Library Program has launched the IU Sheet Music Web site. This Web database provides access to some of the holdings from the Lilly Library's approximately 150,000 pieces of sheet music, including those for which there are digitized images available. Technical information related to digitization, scanning, and metadata specifications are available from the Web site.

Indiana University Digital Library Program:

Sheet Music Collection:


Portal to Digital Resources

ENCdl is a portal to digital resources that have been cataloged in association with ENC, the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education. The site,, enables users to search across multiple collections and is the result of a successful experiment to integrate work from different projects. Five collections can be searched – ENC Online, Federal Education Digital Resources Library (FEDRL), Innovation Curriculum Online Network (ICON), Gender and Science Digital Library (GSDL), and the Learning Matrix. Each of these collections has a specific audience, although all collections deal with the topics of science, mathematics, and technology. All resources have been cataloged using the IEEE Learning Object Metadata (IEEE LOM) standard metadata schema.

Those interested in digital library cataloging can access the latest version of the ENCdl Indexing Guidelines on the site. This living document reflects ENC's application of the IEEE LOM standard.

ENCdl Indexing Guidelines:


Million Books Project Steadily Growing

Pioneered by Jaime Carbonell, Raj’Reddy, Michael Shamos, Gloriana St Clair, and Robert Thibadeau of Carnegie Mellon University, the Million Books Project (MBP) aims to digitize at least one million books and offer them free-to-read on the Internet. The initial phases of the project concentrate on out-of-copyright titles. In addition to providing the world's largest collection of e-books, the project will provide a rich testbed for many different areas of research and innovation. Project partners include government and academic institutions in India and China, academic libraries in the USA and OCLC. Most of the scanning will be done in India and China. To date, three grants have been received from the National Science Foundation for equipment and planning.

In addition to developing a system to support perpetual, free-to-read access to the digitized books on the Web, the CMU-developed system provides tools to add books to the collection and generate PURLs and usage reports. The task will be accomplished by scanning the books and indexing their full text with OCR technology. Future developments will enable the Million Book Collection to be indexed by popular Internet search engines like Google and harvested via the OAI protocol. In spring 2004 Carnegie Mellon University Libraries is working with students in a Human-Computer Interaction course to prepare specifications to enhance the design and functionality of the system.

Million Books Collection:

Project page:

Project FAQ:

Manual for Metadata Capture, Digitization and OCR:

New Digital Library

Honors 50th Anniversary of Milestone in Civil Rights

The Institute of Museum and Library Services has announced the launch of the Teachers Domain Civil Rights Special Collection on May 21, 2004 in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education ruling. Produced by WGBH Boston, in partnership with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute of Alabama, and the libraries of Washington University, St Louis, Missouri, the free multi-media online collection includes dramatic archival news footage, first-hand accounts of civil rights activists, oral histories, and primary source images and documents. Designed as a resource for classroom use and independent study, the Civil Rights Special Collection gives teachers and independent learners rich digital tools to present this important part of our nation's history in engaging and interactive ways. The power of public broadcasting, museums, libraries, and technology combines to create a vibrant learning experience. Along with the multimedia resources, the collection includes media-rich lesson plans and correlations to standards. To help teachers get the most out of the digital library, there are valuable resource management tools for making specific content available to different groups of students. The Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded a $499,133 National Leadership Grant to WGBH and its partners in 2003 for the project. The resulting Civil Rights Special Collection will continue to expand over time as part of Teachers Domain, a digital library of multimedia resources for the classroom. Visit the collection at:

Kansas History Online

Just in time for the sesquicentennial of the Kansas Territory and the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition, the University of Kansas has announced the launch of the pilot version of a dynamic new Web site focused on Kansas history. Called KansasHistoryOnline,, the project was conceived and developed by many of the same people who created This Week in KU History, which went live in November 2002 and is located at

As with This Week in KU History, KansasHistoryOnline combines scholarly methodology with magazine-style journalism to give site visitors highly readable content that reflects academic standards. It is a project of the Hall Center for the Humanities at KU and of the Kansas State Historical Society.

Visitors to the pilot of KansasHistoryOnline will find a daily listing of key dates in Kansas history and sample articles in two themed sections directly accessible from the home page. One focuses on the "Bleeding Kansas" period and was underwritten by a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council. The other is called "Quintessential Kansas" and details the peculiarities of the state and its people. Individual articles also contain links to related articles within the site, primary source documents, lists of recommended readings, and Kansas travel destinations such as museums and points of interest related to a given article.

The site's project director and editor-in-chief is Henry Fortunato, who completed a master's degree in US history at KU this year and directs This Week in KU History. Fortunato is managing a team writing the core content for the site. Most of the images come from the state historical society. An advisory board composed of leading historians from KU, Wichita State University and the Kansas State Historical Society counsel on potential subject matter and review completed articles before they go online.

KansasHistoryOnline Web site:

"Metadata Practices on the Cutting Edge"

Presentations now Available

Copies of the PowerPoint presentations given at the NISO workshop "Metadata Practices on the Cutting Edge" on May 20, 2004 are now available online.

Presentations include:

  • Metadata Practice and Direction: a Community Perspective, Lorcan Dempsey, OCLC.

  • RSS: Really Simple Syndication – A Publisher's Perspective by Howard’Ratner, Nature Publishing Group.

  • New Developments Relating to Linking Metadata, Chuck Koscher, CrossRef.

  • Metadata Standards for Managing and Discovering Image Collections, Oya Rieger, Cornell University Libraries.

  • Addressing Metadata in the MPEG-21 and PDF-A ISO Standards, William G. LeFurgy, Library of Congress.

  • Using MODS (Metadata Object Description Schema) for Rich Descriptive Data, Rebecca Guenther, Library of Congress.

  • The Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS), Morgan Cundiff, Library of Congress.

  • ONIX for Serials and the NISO/EDItEUR Joint Working Party for the Exchange of Serials Subscription Information, Nathan Robertson, Johns Hopkins University Libraries.

  • Metadata Interaction, Integration, and Interoperability, William Moen, University of North Texas.

  • DSpace SIMILE: using semantic Web technology for metadata support, MacKenzie Smith, MIT Libraries.

  • Beyond Parsing: Metadata Quality Management, Bruce Rosenblum, Inera, Inc.


Library of Congress

Releases Report on Rights Expression Languages

The Library of Congress has announced the availability of a study on rights expression languages. The report, entitled "Rights Expression Languages", was prepared by Karen Coyle, digital rights specialist. It was commissioned by the Network Development and MARC Standards Office to help establish a methodology for examining emerging rights languages. It is a contribution to the information community dialog on issues and tools for controlling digital rights.

The study compares four major languages – MPEG-21/5, ODRL, Creative Commons, and METSRights plus some others, and establishes a taxonomy of characteristics to consider when selecting a language for a particular application. The report is also useful to clarify thinking on directions that need to be pursued in new rights expression language developments over the next few years.

Report available from:

Supporting Digital Scholarship

Final Report Issued

The final report from the Supporting Digital Scholarship project of the University of Virginia is available online. The goals of the project were to propose guidelines and document methods for libraries and related technical centers to support the creation and long-term maintenance of digital scholarly projects. The specific problems under examination were:

  • structuring digital resources so that scholars can use them as primary sources;

  • the technical and policy issues associated with library adoption of "born-digital" scholarly research; and

  • co-creation of digital resources by scholars, publishers, and libraries.

This multi-year project was funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It resulted in this report, as well as prototype tools. They created prototype collections based on several born-digital projects that provided valuable first-hand experience with the technical aspects of transforming born-digital works into resources that can be maintained by libraries and accessed as primary scholarly works.

Final Report:

Project Web site:


Release White Paper on Interaction between Information and Learning

The IMS Global Learning Consortium and the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) have released a joint white paper entitled "Interoperability between library information services and learning environments – bridging the gaps" co-authored by Neil McLean and Clifford Lynch. The paper explores the potential interactions between information environments and learning environments, with an emphasis on work that needs to be done involving standards, architectural modeling or interfaces to allow these two environments to interact more productively.

White paper:

IMS Web site:

CNI Web site:

JIME Special Issue

Educational Semantic Web

The May 2004 issue of the Journal of Interactive Media in Education (JIME) is a special issue on the Educational Semantic Web. The Educational Semantic Web provides a theme around which many futures and technological applications can be crafted. This special issue of JIME is an interactive, peer and public reviewed exposé, in academic terms, of the future of the Educational Semantic Web. The format of the special issue builds on the work of the 2003 JIME special issue in which chapters from the book, Reusing Online Resources: A Sustainable Approach to eLearning were publicly reviewed by an international group of experts.

This special issue features nine papers by invited, internationally renowned authors who have previously written about the effect of technology on education, learning and scholarship. Their interests and writing span distance education, higher education and lifelong learning. Each has shown capacity to write with vision and clarity that has garnered international attention. They were asked to create original articles that envision the future decade of education and learning based on their current work and interests in respect to the emergence of a global and intelligent Semantic Web.

The second component of the special issue is devoted to reactions to the articles written by some of the world's foremost educational practitioners with acknowledged leadership and competence in building educational systems based on the use of new technologies. Although the distinction between the two groups may not always be easy to discern, the authors of the commentaries were asked to review and comment upon one of the selected articles. The goal of the commentaries was to review the article with a critical eye towards practicality, training and support issues, cultural and economic barriers, implicit assumptions, and other issues related to the adoption of innovation.

JIME special issue:

One of the papers in the JIME special issue was contributed by Diana G. Oblinger, NSF National Science Digital Library (NSDL) National Visiting Committee, on the topic of games as the next generation of educational engagement. Games are no longer just for fun; they offer potentially powerful learning environments. Today's students have grown up with computer games. In addition, their constant exposure to the Internet and other digital media has shaped how they receive information and how they learn. There are many attributes of games that make them pedagogically sound learning environments. An increasing number of faculty are using games as enhancements to the traditional learning environment, with encouraging results. While the interactivity and engagement of games are highly positive, a number of questions remain about how games will be developed, deployed and accepted in higher education.

The Next Generation of Educational Engagement:

DigiCULT Special Publication

Digital Collections and the Management of Knowledge

DigiCULT Forum has published a special edition entitled Digital Collections and the Management of Knowledge: Renaissance Emblem Literature as a Case Study for the Digitization of Rare Texts and Images. The 12 articles in the collection, which stem from the working conference on emblem digitization held in September 2003 at the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Germany, exemplify how scholars in a highly specialized area of research together with digital librarians have taken advantage of information technologies, standards, and emerging best practices for the digitization of emblems and emblem books, and the scholarly work related to them.

The complexity of practices put to good use by the emblem research community is illustrated by the key issues and methods covered in this DigiCULT special publication: establishing metadata, using the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) standard, indexing emblems (e.g. with Iconclass), collection-level descriptions, metadata exchange procedures, using the Open Archives Initiative Metadata Harvesting Protocol (OAI-MHP) for emblem data, federated searching based on ontologies, and establishment of an emblems portal.

In addition, the issue of how best to serve the requirements of users, be it through new tools for the emblem scholar, online pathways into the emblematic tradition for students from various disciplines (such as philosophy, theology, history, literature and the arts), or online presentation environments for a broader audience, is also approached.

At the policy level, the emblem community acknowledges an important aspect DigiCULT observes over and over again, the importance of consensus building and co-operation on all levels, regional, national, and international. Both demand substantial investment of resources, as well as the need to accommodate conflicting interests such as, for example, already implemented technical solutions, project specific goals, etc. But, as a show of success, the emblem research community has in recent years not only managed to set up several national digitization projects (for example, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands, Scotland, Spain, USA), but also reached international consensus on many key issues.

Hi-Res PDF (30Mb):

(Note: High Resolution PDF may take a considerable time to download)

Lo-Res PDF (5.4Mb):

Commission on Cyberinfrastructure

Posts Minutes of Public Meetings

The ACLS-sponsored Commission on Cyberinfrastructure for the Humanities and Social Sciences has posted the minutes from its April and May public information-gathering sessions. Speakers at the April meeting included: Michael Jensen – National Academies Press, Joyce Ray – Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Max Evans – National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Speakers in May included: William Barnett – Field Museum, Lorcan Dempsey – OCLC, James Grossman – Newberry Library, Myron P. Gutmann and James Hilton – University of Michigan, Lorna Hughes – New York University, Martin Mueller – Northwestern University, and Bill Regier – University of Illinois Press. Summaries of the speakers' presentations are included.

The Commission was appointed by the American Council of Learned Societies, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This commission will carry out research, hearings, and consultations to gather information and develop perspective, completing its work within the calendar year 2004 and issuing its report in early 2005. The intended audience for that report includes the scholarly community and the societies that represent it, university provosts, federal funding agencies (including but not limited to the NSF), and private foundations. John Unsworth, dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, chairs the commission.

Meeting notes:

Commission Web site:

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