Clips & Pointers


D-Lib Magazine
September 2005

Volume 11 Number 9

ISSN 1082-9873

In Brief


Current Cites: What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been

Contributed by:
Roy Tennant
Editor, Current Cites
User Services Architect
California Digital Library Oakland, California, USA

In what surely must be at least middle-age in Internet years, the monthly current awareness publication Current Cites turned 15 years old this year. Produced every month by a small team of volunteers, the publication has witnessed the march of numerous Internet technologies (many to extinction) over that period. Consisting of 10-15 summary reviews of the best of the library and information technology literature, the often chatty and yet authoritative annotations have won a loyal audience.

Distributed on paper to library staff at the University of California at its inception in August 1990, before the year was out it was also being published online by the University of California Melvyl union catalog. Shortly after that it was being distributed on the PACS-L electronic discussion – at the time the premier library discussion list (on BITNET).

Over the years Current Cites has been distributed via Gopher, made searchable as a Wide Area Information Servers (WAIS) index, and offered for downloading via FTP. The Web is now it's comfortable home, however, and as of August of this year the newsletter is being distributed in HTML to the approximately 3,600 direct subscribers.

What makes Current Cites a success is that the volunteers who put it together believe in it and enjoy doing it. Each reviewer's voice shines through in brief, informative, and often humorous or insightful abstracts. Links out to not just the cited piece, but often also other web sites mentioned in a cited source makes the publication richer and can lead the reader to a wide array of new resources and information.

The currency of the publication is also worth noting. Since our publication process is entirely online you will often find citations of articles that have only just appeared hours before the issue is delivered to your mailbox. We really take the "Current" in our title seriously. Reviewers fill out a web form for each citation, which is then written out into an individual XML file. The editor then edits each review if needed for consistent citation practice and typographical or grammatical errors, then pulls them into one XML file that is processed by an XSLT stylesheet into the distributed HTML version. We've come a long way from producing it using the Ready-Set-Go! page layout program to be distributed on paper.

To get the issue delivered directly to your mailbox at the end of each month, go to <> and follow the "mailing list" link. While you're there, you may want to read some of the issues you've missed.

User Needs and Potential Users of Public Repositories: An Integrated Analysis

Contributed by:
Dr. Alesia Zuccala, Project Manager
Prof. Mike Thelwall, Prof. Charles Oppenheim, Rajveen Dhiensa
Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) Digital Repository Study
University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK

The University of Wolverhampton and University of Loughborough have just begun a collaborative research project funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) 2005 Digital Repositories Programme. The aim of the research is to investigate five specially selected digital repositories and libraries across the United Kingdom, focusing on their individual mission concerns, users and user needs, and the current link network of their Website.

Heery and Anderson (2005) [1] note that digital repositories differ from other types of digital collections (i.e., digital libraries), in that they allow users to deposit materials as well as carry out basic user functions (i.e., put, get, search). With this particular user needs/webometric analysis, our objective is to assess and compare three "true" public repositories – an e-learning materials repository, an e-prints university archive, and a social sciences data repository, with two examples of open access digital libraries – a health sciences digital library and a digital archive for aerial reconnaissance photographs.

The user needs portion of the study will examine the specific missions of each repository/library. One-to-one interviews will be carried out with the repository/digital library managers to determine the reasons for establishing the repository/digital library and to ascertain how the resource has been marketed to potential users. A questionnaire-based analysis will be carried out with individuals, both users who are familiar with the repository/digital library and non-users to learn more about their needs and obstacles related to non-use. To complement the management/user assessment, we will also provide our selected repository/digital library managers with a webometric report designed to demonstrate how inlinks to and colinks with the Web portal can be used to monitor their Web network positioning. Insights of this nature will help them to better understand and address community needs and work towards building stronger links with organisations, activities and users at both a national and an international level.

The University of Wolverhampton will use the research findings to develop a specialized digital repository Web analysis service, which repositories and digital libraries can use in support of their ongoing development. Information about the project is now available at the following URL: <>.

[1] Anderson, S. and Heery, R. (2005) Digital Repositories Review. <>.

The RepoMMan Project: Automating metadata and workflow for Fedora

Contributed by:
Richard Green
Manager, RepoMMan project
University of Hull, UK

Begun in June of this year, the Repository, Metadata and Management project (RepoMMan) [1] at the University of Hull, UK, is closely aligned with the University's commitment to deploy an institutional repository by the end of July 2006.

The project has two main technical objectives:
  1. to develop a standards-based, flexible, workflow tool through which users can interact with Fedora, the chosen repository platform; and
  2. to enable the automatic population of metadata.

The workflow tool will be surfaced within the institutional portal and, as well as the basic repository functions, we intend that it should provide assistance both with document versioning and automatic population of metadata.

The automatic population of metadata is seen as a major problem in many repository projects. Because the workflow tool will be surfaced within the University portal, we expect to be able to support sophisticated population of metadata, based on users' profiles and their current roles and contexts. This process will be informed by a number of use case studies, which are already underway. We also intend to investigate ways of extracting metadata from the repository objects themselves. The range of metadata generated will be presented to the user through the workflow tool so that the metadata can be edited should the user wish to do so.

In addition we intend to adapt the workflow tool to work within the Sakai Collaboration and Learning Environment [2] to support broad research and collaborative research work.

The technical objectives will be complemented and informed by user requirements gathering, which is an essential part of development activity and was used within the previous PORTAL and CREE projects at the University of Hull. Existing use of 'repository' functionality by researchers, teachers and administrators will be investigated to inform how the institutional repository and workflow tool should be structured. The work will also inform the type of metadata that it will be valuable to incorporate automatically.

The RepoMMan Project is being undertaken by the e-Services Integration Group at the University of Hull and is funded under the UK's JISC Digital Repositories Programme [3].

[1] <>

[2] <>

[3] <>

In the News

Excerpts from Recent Press Releases and Announcements

National Archives Names Lockheed Martin to Build Archives of the Future

September 8, 2005 - "Today, Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein announced the award of a $308 million, six year contract to Lockheed Martin to build the Electronic Records Archives (ERA) system for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The ERA system will capture and preserve the electronic records of the federal government, regardless of format, ensure hardware and software independence, and provide access to the American public and Federal officials."

"After a year-long design competition, Lockheed Martin was chosen to build the archives of the future based on the technical merit of the solution it proposed, the excellence of their system and software engineering methodology, and the quality of their project management. Lockheed Martin also demonstrated that it understood the intricacies of NARA's responsibilities in the field of record-keeping."

"In making the announcement, Professor Weinstein said, 'I am indebted to those who acted decades and centuries ago to ensure that the records of our past were preserved for use today. These parchments, pieces of paper, photographs, and maps have allowed us to reconstruct and understand the story of our nation and its people. Today, we act on behalf not only of archivists but of all Americans of the 21st Century who will use the electronic records being created by the Federal Government, today and tomorrow, to research, write, and understand the history of our times. The ERA system will make that possible. The Electronic Records Archives' goal is clear and simple: a system that accepts, preserves, and makes accessible - far into the future - any type of electronic document.'"

For more information, please see the full press release at the NARA web site: <>.

NDLTD Announces ETD Award Winners for 2005

September 8, 2005 announcement from John H. Hagen, Manager, Electronic Institutional Document Repository Programs - "The Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) consortium is pleased to announce this year's award winners. The awards recognize students who have written exemplary electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). These ETDs demonstrate new dimensions of scholarship being explored by individuals who have made significant contributions to the worldwide ETD movement."

"The full press release is available at <>."

Hurricane Katrina: Information for Museums and Libraries

Message from IMLS Acting Director Mary Chute

September 2, 2005 - "The devastation in New Orleans and other Gulf Coast communities is beyond belief. Our hearts go out to the people and families who have lost so much in this catastrophe."

"At this time the highest priority remains health and safety. Assessing damage to property, and library and museum collections, will take some time. However, IMLS is acting now by extending our upcoming grant deadline to enable museums in the affected area to take advantage of funding opportunities to care for their collections. We are also working in coordination with other federal and state agencies as well as with partner service organizations, libraries and museums to best determine the agency's next steps to assist with the disaster recovery."

"Libraries and museums are essential to sustaining the unique and treasured culture of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and to supporting communities, education, and lifelong learning."

"IMLS Conservation Project Support Program Deadline Extended for Museums in Declared Disaster Areas: <>."

For more information, including a preliminary list of links to first reports on museum and library related damage, recovery information, and more, please see <>.

UK Public libraries set to face serious staff shortage

August 24, 2005 - "Just as public libraries are boosting their visitor numbers with an increase of more than 14 million visits last year, the service faces a new challenge. A survey carried out by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) shows that nearly a third of library staff in England will retire in the next 10 years - and library authorities are beginning to feel the pinch, with 59% saying they already have difficulty filling vacancies.""

"MLA [Museums, Libraries and Archives Council] chairman Mark Wood explained: 'It's not simply a lack of applicants, although in some areas this is a problem, it is also attracting the right candidates. The stereotype of library workers couldn't be further from the truth. Public libraries today are thriving centres of the community, attracting people of all ages, from toddlers picking up their first book, to grandparents learning to surf the web - and the staff have to be lively, creative, out-going types, who can help users get the most out of their library visit.'"

For more information, please see <>.

Leaders in Digital Library Field Win Prestigious Standards Award

August 24, 2005, announcement from Stephanie Carroll, American National Standards Institute: "Herbert Van de Somple, Digital Library Researcher at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Eric Van de Velde, Director of Library Information Technology with the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) Library System have both been selected to receive the distinguished Meritorious Service Award by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in recognition of their outstanding service in enabling the Institute to attain the objectives for which it was founded through significant contribution to the U.S. voluntary standardization system."

"Herbert Van de Sompel, Digital Library Researcher at the Los Alamos National Laboratory was instrumental in the development of the ANSI/NISO OpenURL standard, which has transformed information services within the scholarly and bibliographic community. The research he undertook over many years demonstrates Mr. Van de Sompel's capacity to recognize the changes in his environment and respond, and the ability to apply remarkable energy to his technical vision."

"Eric F. Van de Velde, Director of Library Information Technology at CalTech Library System, has provided committee leadership and command of the ANSI process. His work in the emerging field of digital libraries led to the ANSI/NISO OpenURL standard, which has given institutions such as libraries and archives a tool to open their collections and make them accessible in new ways. He is now focused on identifying, developing, and deploying software and information services that enhance the library-user experience."

"These awards will be presented during an October 5 ceremony held in conjunction with ANSI's World Standards Week celebration in Washington, DC."

For more information, please see the news item at the ANSI web site, <>.

OSTI Brings Foreign Research to U.S. Science Community

August 19, 2005 - "Oak Ridge, TN - Each year the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) – through its participation in two multilateral R&D information exchange agreements – gains access to approximately 80,000 foreign energy-related research summaries. One agreement is under the auspices of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris while the other is under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. The IEA information collection, which totals more than 3.5 million items, is made available to U.S. researchers by OSTI, an Office of Science program located in Oak Ridge, TN. This agreement, called the Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDE), is managed by OSTI in its role as the Operating Agent. Brian Hitson, the U.S. representative to ETDE and Associate Director of OSTI, was recently elected Chairman of the ETDE Executive Committee."

"ETDE is widely recognized for its extensive database and its cost effective and user-friendly way of gathering and delivering electronically stored information on a wide range of energy-related topics. ETDE World Energy Base was recently cited by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) as one of the "Top 100" Science/Technology Government Information Web sites, taking honors in the International category. ACRL, the largest division of the American Library Association, is dedicated to serving the information needs of the higher education community and to improving learning, teaching, and research."

"In addition, a recent European Union study recommended that the EU should partner with ETDE to improve information access in Europe. Several enhancements are in store for ETDE by late 2005, including adding access to distributed sources of R&D information, such as the science portal, hosted by OSTI. is a collaboration of 12 U.S. federal science agencies."

To gain access to the ETDE collection, please see <>.

CrossRef Deploys Free OpenURL Resolver

August 16, 2005 - "CrossRef, the reference-linking service for scholarly and professional content, is pleased to announce the launch of a freely available OpenURL resolver to facilitate navigation to the 17+ million items now registered in CrossRef. The resolver, described at <>, allows users to enter an OpenURL as one way to be directed to publications from the hundreds of publishers and societies that participate in CrossRef by registering Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for their content."

"CrossRef's OpenURL resolver is offered at no charge for individual use, and thus functions as a DOI look-up resource for the public. It is fully compliant with the recently approved NISO Z38.88 - 2004 standard entitled "OpenURL Framework for Context-Sensitive Services." The CrossRef resolver accepts URLs structured according to the 0.1 or 1.0 NISO specifications, as well as some common deviations, and it supports the features outlined in the San Antonio Profile (SAP) #1 community profile, including in-line, by-value, and by-reference URLs."

For more information, please see <>.

One in 10 Weblog readers personalizes content with RSS feeds

August 15, 2005 excerpt from OCLC Abstracts, Vol. 8 #33: "One in 10 Weblog readers personalizes content with RSS feeds: Blog sites grow 31 percent since January 2005 to capture nearly 20 percent of active Internet users in July 2005"

"Nielsen/NetRatings announced today that 11 percent of Weblog readers, blog site visitors who claim to read blogs regularly or occasionally, use RSS to sort through the increasing number of blogs available. According to Nielsen/NetRatings' "Understanding the Blogosphere" survey, nearly 5 percent of blog readers use feed aggregation software and more than 6 percent use a feed aggregating Web site to monitor RSS feeds from blogs."

To view the Nielsen/NetRatings report, please see <>.

World's largest library database reaches billionth milestone

August 12, 2005 - "WorldCat, the world's richest online resource for finding library materials, now contains information about where to find 1 billion books, journals, theses and dissertations, musical scores, computer files, CDs, DVDs and other items in thousands of libraries worldwide...."

"...OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., the world's largest library cooperative, developed a shared cataloging service that first went online in 1971. The idea was for libraries in Ohio to share cataloging information from one central electronic database, now known as WorldCat. The OCLC shared cataloging model revolutionized the librarian's workflow and helped make it easy for library patrons to find and get the library materials they needed. What was once a database shared by libraries in Ohio, grew to a national union catalog, and today, is a global library resource used by more than 54,000 libraries in 96 countries."

For more information, please see the full press release at <>.

Grant Will Enhance Virtual Medieval Manuscript Collection

August 9, 2005 - "A pioneering effort to digitize versions of one of the most popular romances of the Middle Ages and to share digitized copies with students and scholars around the world, has won a $717,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to enhance and expand the project."

"Begun in 1998 as a close collaboration between the Johns Hopkins University's Sheridan Libraries' Digital Knowledge Center and the Department of Romance Languages, the Roman de la Rose project enables new approaches to medieval studies through the creation of digital surrogates, transcriptions, and text and image searching. Rather than travel thousands of miles to make comparisons of these texts, scholars can easily compare and study them online."

For more information, please see the full press release at <>.

EDUCAUSE Honors Outstanding Leaders and Innovative Achievements in Higher Education Information Technology

August 3, 2005 - "The EDUCAUSE annual awards recognize exemplary achievement in six areas of higher education information technology: leadership, professional writing, administrative information systems, information technology solutions, networking, and teaching and learning. Winners of the 2005 awards will be honored before more than 6,000 of their higher education colleagues at the association's annual conference this October in Orlando."

"Excellence in Leadership Awards:

  • for extraordinary effectiveness, statesmanship, and influence, on both individual campuses and the wider higher education community
    Ronald Bleed, Vice Chancellor for Information Technologies, Maricopa Community College District
  • for exceptionally effective leadership in campus information technology use and management, and the mentoring of other professionals
    Annie Stunden, Chief Information Officer, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • for prominence in the arena of national and international technology agendas, and the linking of higher education to those agendas
    Clifford A. Lynch, Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information

For more information about the Leadership Awards as well as other EDUCAUSE 2005 awards, please see <>.

Connotea now offers OpenURL links for many of the items in your collection

July 27, 2005 - "If you have access to an OpenURL resolver, perhaps as part of your institution's library services, Connotea can create links that let you look-up your institution's holdings for anything in your collection that Connotea has bibliographic information for. Simply enter the location of your OpenURL resolver (or 'link server') in your registration details. In addition, enter some text that Connotea can use when creating the links – for example, 'OpenURL' or 'Library holdings look-up' – and you'll then see that text, linked to your local resolver, beneath the citation details for your articles and books."

For more information, please see the announcement at <>.

APA Revises Print and Electronic Re-Use Policies to Enhance Dissemination of STM Information

July 27, 2005 - "The American Psychological Association (APA) has revised its policy on re-use of content from its scholarly journals and books to facilitate wider dissemination of scientific information while maintaining its historical commitment to author rights."

" The policy provides a new level of automatic permission for re-use of a limited number of figures and tables as well as text extracts. Authors and publishers now have automatic permission to re-use the following in a published book or journal:"

  • A maximum of three figures or tables from an APA journal article or book chapter
  • Up to five figures or tables from a whole book
  • Single text extracts of less than 400 words
  • Series of text extracts that total less than 800 words

"In addition, permission to use APA copyrighted material in a print product will now allow the publisher to use the content in the equivalent electronic version of the book or journal."

"'We have found in our own scientific publishing that it is critical for the print and electronic versions of material to be identical,' said Gary VandenBos, PhD, APA's Publisher. 'Not allowing re-use of data in the electronic version creates untenable holes in the scholarly literature.'"

"Use of any other material (for example, scales and full text) still requires APA permission as detailed in the full policy (see"

For more information, please contact William C. Hayward, American Psychological Association <>.

State of the nation survey to reveal threat to the UK's digital heritage

July 25, 2005 - "The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) is today launching its biggest project to date, a 'state of the nation' survey designed to reveal the extent of the risk of loss or degradation to digital material held in the UK's public and private sectors."

"The UK Digital Preservation Needs Assessment survey will analyse and synthesise existing sources of data on digital preservation activity in the UK and gather additional information to present a detailed analysis of the status quo regarding digital preservation in the UK. The need for a comprehensive survey was revealed by smaller scale studies carried out by the DPC and its members."

"The survey will be carried out by the software services company Tessella, which won a competitive tender process. Tessella will look at archive practice in government bodies, archives, museums, libraries, education, scientific research organisations, pharmaceutical, environmental, nuclear, engineering, publishing and financial institutions. A draft report and findings will be presented in October 2005, identifying priorities for action to accelerate, influence and inform the development of a UK digital preservation agenda."

For more information, please see <>.

ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowships

July 22, 2005 announcement from ACLS - "The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is pleased to announce its new Digital Innovation Fellowship program, in support of digitally based research projects in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. These fellowships, created with the generous help of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, are intended to support an academic year dedicated to work on a major scholarly project of a digital character that advances humanistic studies and best exemplifies the integration of such research with use of computing, networking, and other information technology-based tools. The online application for the fellowship program is located at; applications must be completed by November 10, 2005 (decisions to be announced in late March 2006)."

"This is the first national fellowship program to recognize and reward humanistic scholarship in the digital sphere, and to help establish standards for judging the quality, innovation, and utility of such research. Many scholars have been working in the humanities for years with such tools as digital research archives, new media representations of extant data, and innovative databases – and now the ACLS sees an important opportunity to start identifying and providing incentive for distinctive work, on a national basis."

"Up to five Digital Innovation Fellowships will be awarded in this competition year, for tenure beginning in 2006-2007. As this program aims to provide the means for pursuing digitally-based scholarly projects, the fellowship includes a stipend of up to $55,000 to allow an academic year's leave from teaching, as well as project funds of up to $25,000 for purposes such as access to tools and personnel for digital production, collaborative work with other scholars and with humanities or computing research centers, and the dissemination and preservation of projects."

For more information, please see <>.

ACRL's Rare Books and Manuscripts Section receives IMLS grant to foster communication between museums, libraries, and archives

July 19, 2005 - "The Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has received a $93,106 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to explore the cultural missions of museums, libraries, and archives, and to foster greater communication and collaboration among them."

"The grant, funded through the IMLS 'Librarians for the 21 st Century' program, will support a national conference entitled 'Libraries, Archives, and Museums in the Twenty-First Century: Intersecting Missions, Converging Futures?' that will bring together leading practitioners from the library, museum, and archival fields to investigate common concerns relating to their shared missions to acquire, preserve, and make accessible the world's cultural artifacts and historical documents."

"The conference, a preconference of the ALA Annual Conference, will be held on June 20-23, 2006, in Austin, Texas....A major portion of the IMLS funding will be used to provide 30 scholarships to the preconference. Scholarships will be available on a competitive basis to new and aspiring library, archives, and museum professionals, especially from professionally underrepresented backgrounds. The American Association of Museums (AAM) will contribute to the development of the program."

For more information, please see <>.

Copyright 2005 © Corporation for National Research Initiatives

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