Current Cites (Digital Library SunSITE)

Volume 5, no. 11, November 1994

Edited by Teri Andrews Rinne

The Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720
ISSN: 1060-2356  -

Contributors: Margaret Phillips, David Rez, Richard Rinehart, Teri Rinne, Roy Tennant

[ Electronic Publishing ] [ Multimedia and Hypermedia ] [ Networks and Networking ][ Optical Disc Technology ][ General ] [ News Bits ]

Electronic Publishing

Clement, Gail. "Evolution of a Species: Science Journals Published on the Internet" Database 17(5) (October/November 1994):44-54. -- An excellent overview of the current state of electronic science journals, including where they have come from and where they may be headed. Although focused entirely on science journals, many of the observations are also appropriate for journals in other disciplines. Clement includes a number of pointers to key electronic journal resources. Sidebars include a list of current or planned electronic science journals, and informative case studies of specific titles. -- RT

Leslie, Jacques. "Goodbye, Gutenberg: Pixelating Peer Review is Revolutionizing Scholarly Journals"Wired 2(10) (October 1994): 68-71. -- As time passes electronic scholarly journals are becoming more accepted by the academic community. Over the past few years approximately 450 new electronic journals have become available, at least 70 of which are scholarly. One reason publishing journals electronically has become so appealing recently is the rising cost of journal subscriptions. Cost, along with the increasing visual potential of electronically- based documents has driven acceptance of electronic journals to an all-time high. -- DR

Multimedia and Hypermedia

Stefanac, Suzanne. "Multimedia Meets the Internet" New Media 4(11) (November 1994):56-63. -- Can "multimedia" and "Internet" yet be mentioned in the same breath without the obligatory raised eyebrow? Well...not quite, but this article is a good overview of various projects and technologies that are already tackling the wideband/ narrowband schism. Many popular projects such as WWW browsers have already began to break down the barriers between what is a "network" application, and what a "multimedia" application. Other topics covered are ATM protocol, MBone, cable modems, and CD-ROM-assisted network services (where the service delivers a file code to the computer, which then opens the band-hogging Quicktime movie or image off the local CD-ROM). The article is very useful in that it includes contact information in the forms or relevant URLs or phone numbers. -- RR

Wilson, David. "Teaching a Computer to Find and Retrieve Stored Images" Chronicle of Higher Education 40(7) (October 12, 1994): A20-21. -- One of the as yet unrealized promises of multimedia computing is to transform the image into something beyond a 'dumb' object into an integral part of the structure of the data for both storage and retrieval purposes. Currently, images are helpless objects, dependent on attached text to serve any purpose other than mere illustration. Alex Pentland of the conceptual- computing section of MIT's Media Laboratory has taken a first step toward liberating the digital image from its slavery to textual tags. Pentland has created a system whereby images can be searched visually; one starts with an image to finds 'hits' of similar images. His 'photobook' projects used faces as the experimental pool of images. And amazingly, when starting with one man's face and searching for similar ones, his system even found other photos of the subject's face when he was pictured wearing a false beard or with an altered expression. The implications for research in medicine, art history, and any field dealing with images are exciting to say the least. -- RR

Networks and Networking

Bell, Gladys Smiley. "First Peoples and the Internet" College & Research Libraries News 55(10) (November 1994):633-635. -- This article is a guide to Internet resources for and about Native Americans and includes a selective list of electronic discussion groups, ftp and gopher sites, UseNet newsgroups and other significant electronic resources. -- MP

DeLoughry, Thomas J. "For the Community of Scholars 'Being Connected' Takes On a Whole New Meaning" The Chronicle of Higher Education 40(10) (November 2, 1994): A25-A26. -- The emergence of online discussion groups and mailing lists as a means of scholarly communication has raised questions about the role of the Internet in academia. For example, having a high profile on the Internet has become the newest way, in some cases, to gain recognition for faculty seeking promotions. While statistics are still not available indicating how many college students and faculty subscribe to mailing lists, it is clear that in many cases more people can be reached by way of a mailing list than through an article in a journal. Following this article are several reviews of some of the more popular and more obscure mailing lists -- including a generous review of PACS-L. -- MP

Lewis, Peter H. "Companies Rush to Set Up Shop in Cyberspace" The New York Times (November 2, 1994): C1, C6. -- With its color photographs, sound clips, interactive diagrams and easy navigation, companies are starting to recognize the marketing potential of the World-Wide Web and are setting up their own "home pages" as a means of sharing information about themselves and their products. The author describes the development of both the Web and navigational software programs such as Mosaic in addition to outlining what a business needs to become "web worthy:" access to a server computer, fast telephone lines, and the ability to "tag" documents in hypertext markup language. The article includes references to the Elvis Presley home page, the White House home page and the now famous "On the Internet, no one knows your a dog" cartoon from the New Yorker. -- MP

Lewis, Peter H. "U.S. Begins Privatizing of Internet Operations" The New York Times (October 24, 1994): C1, C9. -- The National Science Foundation which administers a nationwide Internet backbone commonly known as the NSF Net has begun turning over many of its responsibilities to the private sector. Specifically, many regional Internet service providers have been scheduled to be disconnected from the NSF Net backbone and connected to new commercial network hubs in San Francisco, Chicago, Penssauken, N.J, and Washington. While some see the shift in administration as a way to bring about marketplace efficiencies to the Internet, others fear that a privatized Internet will not have the capacity for the large volume of traffic on the network. No one knows yet how the changes in the management of the Internet will effect the heaviest users of the Internet -- universities and research institutions -- who have benefitted most from government subsidies of the Internet. -- MP

Marchionini, Gary, Diane Barlow, and Linda Hill. "Extending Retrieval Strategies to Networked Environments: Old Ways, New Ways, and a Critical Look at WAIS," Journal of the American Society for Information Science 45(8) (September 1994):561-564. -- This evaluative article compares searching results from a WAIS system and a Boolean-based retrieval system. As a result, they identified some problems with WAIS. Some of these include an inadequate ranking algorithm, a relevance feedback mechanism that does not allow the user to assign weights to terms, and a "black box" effect for the user of sending a search in and not having much of an idea about what determines what comes out. Nonetheless, the authors point out some strengths of WAIS over Boolean-based search systems, such as no query language to learn, a higher likelihood of something being returned from a search, and ease of use when using the workstation-based clients. -- RT

Wilson, David L. "Navigating the Web" The Chronicle of Higher Education 40(9) (October 26, 1994): A24, A28-A29. -- This report on a recent meeting to discuss ways to improve Mosaic, provides a good overview of some of the strengths and weaknesses of this hot new network browsing tool that has become so popular. While Mosaic is credited with the exponential growth that the World-Wide Web has seen in the last year, the program can be annoyingly slow to use and it provides no support for any kind of indexing which makes searching for resources on the Web almost impossible. It is best to think of Mosaic, say conference speakers, as a primitive tool compared to what will be available in a few years. -- MP

Optical Disc Technology

Adkins, Susan L. "CD-ROM: A Review of the 1993 Literature" Computers in Libraries 14(8) (September 1994):43-55. -- Adkins once again provides a well-written survey of the year in CD-ROM. The survey is organized into two sections. The first section concentrates on the developments in the industry, including the status of the CD market in various parts of the world and the development of CD-Recordable, multimedia, Kodak Photo CD, CD-I, and others. The second section is devoted to CD-ROM in the library market with a discussion on instruction, selection, pricing, networks, and other matters. The review concentrates on the professional journals most commonly used by librarians in their efforts to maintain current awareness. If you have but one article to read on CD-ROM this year, Adkins does not disappoint. [Note: The corresponding bibliography is cited below.] -- TR

Adkins, Susan L. "CD-ROM 1993: A Guide to the Literature" OCLC Systems and Services 10(2 & 3) (Summer/Fall 1994):68-85. -- Due to space constraints, Computers in Libraries was unable to run Adkins' "CD-ROM: Review of 1993 Literature" [see above] in tandem with the bibliography or Guide to the Literature, as was the practice in the past. As the popularity of CD-ROM increases, the annual review correspondingly increases in size and scope. This 400-item bibliography is cross-referenced with a subject index to facilitate use. -- TR

Beiser, Karl. "Moving on Up: CD-ROM Upgrade Paths and Problems" Online 18(5) (September/October 1994):116-118. -- This article seeks to provide very practical answers to questions such as "When should the old be replaced by the new? How does one assess the real-world benefits of acquiring newer hardware or software? How can older and newer products be made to work together?" Although most hardware, software, and/or database upgrades offer substantial benefits, many also include at least minor disadvan- tages. According to Beiser, the key challenge is to "clearly assess the strengths and weaknesses in the status quo, the value of the enhancements offered and the impact of any negatives associated with them." -- TR

Nadeau, Michael. "When Worlds Collide" CD-ROM World 9(10) (November 1994):48-52. -- Nadeau explores the two worlds of CD-ROM and online services and the news ways in which they complement each other. In the early years of CD-ROM, these two worlds were often viewed as mutually exclusive. Today, CD-ROM is offered as a gateway to online services by a number of companies. CD-ROM can enhance text-based online services by providing rich multimedia content that would be expensive and intolerably slow to deliver over a modem. Touted as a perfect example of a CD-ROM/online product is Microsoft Complete Baseball. The CD-ROM almanac includes team and individual statistics while Microsoft provides daily online updates, strike-permitting. -- TR


"Cornell University's Albert R. Mann Library: A Prototype for Today's Electronic Library" Library Hi Tech 12(3) (1994):31-88. -- This special section of Library Hi Tech contains six articles that cover many of the aspects encountered in the metamorphosis from a traditional print-based "paradigm of the research library" to the emerging electronic library. As the first recipient of the ALA/Meckler "Library of the Future Award," the staff of Cornell's Mann Library is worthy of our attention. Specifically, this series includes articles on the full range of library operations, including public services, technical services, systems operations, preservation and collection development and their respective roles in the modern electronic library. -- DR

News Bits

For those who enjoy Wired magazine, rev up your WWW browsers and tune in to HotWired []. HotWired makes it clear however, that it is not just an online version of Wired magazine (that's found at []) and it justifies that statement by not duplicating content, and by taking full advantage of the WWW medium. Like Wired magazine, HotWired funds itself using the broadcast model, where it sells advertising, which is posted at the top of its pages. So although there is no fee, but you must register to become a member. Hot- Wired is something of a cross between an online service and an online publishing forum. It includes a real-time chat area called The Piazza, and other content that follows the colorful, progressive tone set by Wired. By including some academic, as well as journalistic and commercial content, and free/subsidized access, HW poses an interesting working model for commercial ventures on the Internet. Since HotWired utilizes the latest technology, such as forms for registering and searching the content areas, you will need a WWW browser that supports forms at least (Mosaic for Mac 2.0.0 Alpha17 worked fine, available at [] -- RR

Current Cites 5(11) (November 1994) ISSN: 1060-2356 Copyright (C) 1995 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.

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