Current Cites (Digital Library SunSITE)

Volume 5, no. 8, August 1994

Edited by Teri Andrews Rinne

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

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

[ Electronic Publishing ] [ Multimedia and Hypermedia ] [ Networks and Networking ][ General ]

Electronic Publishing

DeLoughry, Thomas J. "Colleges Urged to Re-Evaluate Copyright Policies" The Chronicle of Higher Education 40(47) (July 27, 1994):A20. [URL:gopher://] -- Under the auspices of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), a panel of professors, librarians and administrators has called for greater use of technology in order to make material more widely available and more affordable for universities. To accomplish this, the panel urges universities to re-evaluate copyright policies for works published in electronic formats and it recommends that higher education consider creating "electronic publishing outlets" to compete with the high-cost printed journals that strain library budgets. -- MP

DeLoughry, Thomas J. "Copyright Changes Proposed for Electronic Era" The Chronicle of Higher Education 40(45) (July 13, 1994):A17-A18. -- A panel of Clinton Administration officials, know as The Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights, has produced a draft report outlining several amendments to the Copyright Act which would protect the interests of creators and users of electronically accessible materials. They did not, however, tackle the issue of "fair use" for electronic materials but instead will convene a conference on fair use by bringing together educators, librarians and other users of copyrighted materials with the owners of such materials. The aim of this meeting will be to produce fair-use guidelines of electronic materials. -- MP

Zheng, Min and Roy Rada. "MUCH Electronic Publishing Environment: Principles and Practices" Journal of the American Society for Information Science 45(5) (June 1994):300-309. -- An overview of the MUCH (Many Using and Creating Hypermedia) system, a multi-author editing environment for electronic publishing based upon the following premises: it should support the whole life cycle of the publication; it should be a highly integrated environment; it should have hypermedia publishing capabilities and it should easily extend to deal with new media and support new publishing activities. The MUCH environment was developed as a collaborative authoring tool which addresses these support issues. The MUCH system uses industry standards (such as SGML and the Dexter model) and freely available software for continuity and flexibility. -- DR

Multimedia and Hypermedia

Reinhardt, Andy. "Managing the New Document" Byte 19(8) (August 1994):90. -- This cover article reviews efforts currently under way to implement software standards for the management of documents, especially those containing multimedia elements. Standard operating environments generally include cursory document management systems such as a file finding aid, and various views for listing files. These systems are further oriented toward textual (monomedia) documents, with features such as 'find file containing text.....'. Managing multimedia documents, on the other hand, presents special needs. Many tools and standards exist currently for multimedia document creation, but document management users must often look to third parties, or await the results of experimental projects, to see where the true standards will come from. This article lists some potential standards and interesting projects, from a joint effort between Xerox and Novell to create a network-capable documentmanagement interface, to the client/server-oriented document bridge, Open Document Management API. The article is the latest pointer toward the trend of computing becoming less application-centric and more document-centric in many ways. -- RR

Networks and Networking

Barry, Jeff. "The HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and the World-Wide Web: Raising ASCII Text to a New Level of Usability" The Public-Access Computer Systems Review 5(5) (1994):5-62. To retrieve this file, send the following e-mail message to GET BARRY PRV5N5 F=MAIL. [URL:gopher://] -- In his mis-titled article, Barry provides an introduction and tutorial to HTML rather than a detailed description of its advantages over other electronic text or an analysis of its future. The focus here is on the HTML tags, or markup elements, themselves; 20 pages of the 55-page document constitute an appendix listing tags with examples of their use. The brief descriptions of HTML elements compare favorably with other such material that is available, and PACS Review readers may profit from yet another overview. However, the article is not very imaginative in its descriptions of how the Web could be used in libraries, and it suffers from attempts to DESCRIBE Web documents rather than SHOW them - an inherent limitation of the Review's ascii distribution. To be fair, Barry does provide the reader with locations of sample documents that do illustrate his points. -- JLO

Burke, Edmund B. "And Makes Me Poor Indeed: The Law of Defamation in the Age of Information Technology" Educom Review 29(4) (July/ August 1994):6-7. -- This timely piece clearly and methodically reviews defamation law in light of recent suits based upon alleged defamatory statements "published" on computer networks. Current and/or potential "Flamers" and suit-prone "Flamees" take note. -- RT

Glazier, Loss Pequeno. "Internet Resources for English and American Literature" College & Research Libraries News 55(7) (July/August 1994):417-422. -- Another in the regular series of articles in C&RL News that lists essential Internet resources in specific academic disciplines, this article provides a thorough yet selective list of resources in English and American literature. In addition to a list of important listservs and significant electronic journals in the field, the author describes some important electronic text projects and archives. Also listed are relevant gopher and Web sites. -- MP

Grycz, Czeslaw Jan and Christine Maxwell. New Riders' Official Internet Yellow Pages. Indianapolis: New Riders Publishing, 1994. -- The second major "yellow pages" currently available (see also Hahn and Stout, The Internet Yellow Pages cited in Current Cites, May, 1994) these authors also undertake the dubious mission of providing a comprehensive print resource to the Internet. Various warnings and disclaimers serve to admit that the directory is not, and cannot be, exhaustive nor 100% accurate, so the reader is left to decide whether the range, format, and organization of the listings serve a valuable purpose. In general these yellow pages are less playful than the other volume but are more highly organized. The entries are given in three formats - "standard," "major," and "turbo" - according to the authors' judgments about the scope of the resource (though the reason for the judgments is not clearly explained in the introductory material). With 877 pages, the volume looks valuable based on size alone. However, resources are duplicated in entries under alphabetized name and several keyword descriptors. This scheme has great potential but is unevenly applied, as indicated by the absence of entries under the keywords ("pets" and "domestic animals") which are used in the explanation of the indexing scheme itself. Perhaps it is in part the "generous volunteerism" with which the book was compiled that also contributes to uneven distribution of resources named. For example, "Universities" as a listing has only one entry and there is no explanation of the selection of 18 "universities" with separate alphabetical entries. As with the volume by Hahn and Stout, readers should consider this a good tool for introductory explorations of the Internet which will undoubtedly quickly age and be supplanted by experience. -- JLO

Lewis, Peter H. "Doubts Are Raised on Actual Number of Internet's Users" The New York Times (August 10, 1994):A1, C4. -- A front page article in the New York Times wonders if the Internet has been over-hyped and suggests that the actual number of active Internet users has been overstated. Citing Internet demographer, John S. Quarterman, the article indicates that the commonly quoted numbers of 20 million to 30 million users worldwide, is misleading because more than a million ports, and the millions of people who use them, are cut off from the Internet by electronic "firewalls" erected by security-conscious corporations. While growth on the Internet is indeed exponential, these findings suggest that the "information future" as popularly described, may not quite be here yet. -- MP

Markoff, John. "Silicon Valley Concerns Offer Specialized News" The New York Times (July 12, 1994):C4. -- New companies that offer specialized news services are beginning to commercialize the Internet by providing inexpensive information retrieval services. One such company, allows subscribers to establish lists of topics or companies they wish to follow. Using a program that monitors a range of news services, articles that match a subscribers topic profile are then sent automatically to the subscriber as e-mail messages. Another company allows its computer users who have a direct connection to the Internet to search large commercial databases at prices much lower that similar online databases such as Mead Data Central and Dialog. -- MP

Nisenholtz, Martin. "The Digital Medium Meets The Advertising Message" Educom Review 29(4) (July/August 1994):27-30. -- This article offers a concise framing of the history of advertising's entry into digital media. The author touches on the changing metaphors used to define new digital forums. Network services, such as early Compuserve, were often based on the point-to-point model of the existing telephone system; users knew specifically how they wanted to use such a system and were willing to pay for the service on a per use basis. In this model, the consumer is the end-user of the service. However, many network services are beginning to resemble the point-to-many broadcast model of television as much a the phone model. In this model, advertisers are the true consumer, subsidizing the cost of the service, and the audience is the 'good' delivered to them (to their ads) by the agency (network service or television station). The nature of media convergence reinforces the change in thinking (Have you also been asked by your cable TV channel to logon to America Online later that night to talk 'live with one of the shows actors? Or seen an ad asking you to logon to Prodigy to read more on the football players playing in the game you are watching right now?) As it concentrates on the How and not the Why, though, this article offer an objective introduction to the heated debate on advertising on the Internet and other digital forums (once) considered the purview of the educational community. -- RR

The Scout Report. InterNIC Information Services. [URL:] -- The Scout Report is a weekly publication offered by InterNIC Information Services "to the U.S. research and education community and others who will benefit from the listed resources. Included are selected new and newly-discovered online resources, network news, and bits of net culture." As such it serves a similar function to lists such as Net-Happenings, or the NCSA "What's New" page for the Web. Some of the Scout Report's value lies in its high selectivity, its compilation as a once-weekly publication, and its availability via gopher and the World-Wide Web. This is an excellent resource to use in answer to the daunting "how-to-keep-current" question. -- JLO

Wiggins, Richard. "Building a Campus-Wide Information System," Campus-Wide Information Systems (CWIS) 11(1-2) (Spring/Summer 1994):57-66. -- In this extract from his book The Internet for Everyone: A Guide for Users and Providers, Wiggins provides an overview of some basic issues that must be considered in mounting a Campus-Wide Information System. After a brief history of CWIS development, from CUINFO and PNN to Gopher and World-Wide Web, he covers choosing a platform, the structure of the initial menu, the types of information to offer, and the provision of information about the information (date last updated, etc.). Although anyone charged with creating a CWIS will need to do much more reading than this article, it could nonetheless be useful to someone new to building systems of this type. -- RT


Brandt, D. Scott. "1994 Buyer's Guide and Consultant Directory" Computers in Libraries 14(7) (July/August 1994):18-88. -- Brandt compiles this annual guide designed to provide easy access to information-related computer products, supplies and services. This 70-page reference tool is divided into the following five categories: 1) products and services (further sub-divided into hardware and supplies, software, and services) 2) vendor product and service listing 3) product names 4) vendors, producers and distributors 5) consultants. "This guide," writes Brandt, "can come in handy throughout the year to answer questions related to finding out who sells a needed part, which companies offer certain software, or where you can get a product whose name you remember." -- TR

Current Cites 5(8) (August 1994) ISSN: 1060-2356 Copyright (C) 1995 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.

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