Current Cites (DL SunSITE)

Volume 6, no. 1, January 1995

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 ]

Electronic Publishing

Bennett, Scott. "The Copyright Challenge: Strengthening the Public Interest in the Digital Age" Library Journal 119(19) (November 15, 1994):34-37. -- Bennett begins with a little copyright history and the historical role of libraries in relationship to copyright. He then discusses (and illustrates through a sidebar of scenarios) techniques libraries can use to avoid running afoul of current copyright law when making digital copies. For a more conceptual discussion of intellectual property rights and fair use in a digital age, see the Lyman article below. -- RT

"Fair Use in the Electronic Age: Serving the Public Interest" College & Research Libraries News 56(1) (January 1995):24, 46. -- This is a draft statement authored by representatives from the American Association of Law Librarians, American Library Association, Association of Academic Health Sciences Library Directors, Association of Research Libraries, Medical Library Association and the Special Libraries Association in response to the wide-spread increase in electronic publishing and their concern that issues of fair use be preserved in this new digital age. The document states that "(a)s more information becomes available only in electronic formats, the public's legitimate right to use copyrighted material must be protected." The document calls for a balance between the rights of authors, publishers and copyright owners and society's right to participate fully in the free flow of information. Comments on this draft document are being solicited by the ALA Washington Office ( -- MP

Lunin, Lois F. and Robin P. Peek, eds. "Perspectives on Electronic Publishing" Journal of the American Society for Information Science 45(10)(December 1994):727-799. -- The "Perspective" of this issue of JASIS is electronic publishing. Some of the many issues (i.e. the social relationship of publishing and culture, standardization and government policy) surrounding the nascent electronic publishing industry are addressed in this edition. Highlights include:

-Berliss, Jane. "Boon or Bust? : Access to Electronic Publishing by Individuals Using Adaptive Computer Technology" -- Persons with disabilities have different technical needs for access to electronically published information. It is not difficult to use adaptive technologies in libraries to help disabled patrons make use of the new electronic tools. -- DR

-Collins, Mauri P. and Sane L. Berge. "IPCT Journal : A Case Study of an Electronic Journal on the Internet" -- A history and overview of the electronic journal The Interpersonal Computing and Technology Journal: An Electronic Journal for the 21st Century (IPCT-J). E-journals address some, but not all, of the current concerns of scholars with regard to their academic journals. Organizational acceptance and more reliable search engines are just a couple of the hurdles facing the e-publishing community. -- DR

-Doty, Phillip and Ann P. Bishop. "The National Information Infrastructure and Electronic Publishing: A Reflective Essay" -- Governmental agencies at all levels need to re-evaluate policies and laws if the vision of the National Information Infrastructure is going to be realized. This is a broad essay that covers many of the intellectual issues developing out of the explosion of information technologies. The impressive list of references will undoubtedly be valuable to anyone interested in this topic. -- DR

-Gold, Jon D. "An Electronic Publishing Model for Academic Publishers" -- This is a brief overview and discussion of one proposed electronic book publishing project. The article describes some of the benefits of electronic book publishing, and also suggests the need for a standard model such as Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). Delivery methods are also considered. -- DR

-Jacobson, Thomas L. "The Electronic Publishing Revolution Is Not 'Global'" -- Currently a disparity exists in global information dissemination. For many developing countries the technology necessary to be a player in the electronic information trade is simply not yet in place. Consequently, much of what is published electronically is not getting to all the world's population. -- DR

-Jasperse, Jaap A. "Primary Science on CD-ROM: The New Zealand Experiment" -- This article presents the results of a user evaluation of an electronic issue of the New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research. Respondents expressed doubt about universal access to information, a preferance for hard copy over screens, difficulty with the software, and disappointment with the graphics. They found electronic publication desirable to supplement rather than to replace print publication. -- TR

-Lynch, Clifford A. "The Integrity of Digital Information: Mechanics and Definitional Issues" -- Lynch examines some of the issues encompassing the integrity of digital objects in the networked environment. He defines the use of the word "integrity" in relation- ship to the information distribution system, illustrates the basic mechanics of digital information integrity and addresses issues concerning digital integrity regarding electronic publishing and intellectual content. -- DR

-Peek, Robin P. "Where is Publishing Going?: A Perspective on Change" -- Technology is rapidly changing what "publishing" means. We have, in the past, thought of publishing as a relatively capital intensive, paper print-based endeavor. Computers and the growing networked environment are changing that paradigm. Peek takes a look at what publishing has been, what it is and where it may be headed. -- DR

-Stephen, Timothy and Teresa M. Harrison. "Comserve: Moving the Communication Discipline Online" :765-770 . -- Comserve in an online service for individuals in the field of human communications studies and has been in continuous service since 1986. This article discusses some of the difficulties facing an online electronic information service, not the least of which is the problem of funding the support staff for a free online service. -- DR

Lyman, Peter. "Copyright and Fair Use in the Digital Age: A Q&A with Peter Lyman," Educom Review 30(1) (January/February 1995):32-35 ( -- In this engaging and thoughtful piece, Lyman discusses the difficulties in stretching traditional copyright mechanisms to include networked information. He casts doubt on whether a viable equivalent to the provision for fair use of copyrighted print material can be found for a networked environment. This article is a clear statement of the issues that require resolution (and soon), but if you wish advice on how to stay out of court while making digital copies, see the Bennett article above. -- RT

Rothenberg, Jeff. "Ensuring the Longevity of Digital Documents" Scientific American 272(1) (January 1995):42-47. -- Of interest to anyone involved in information technology, this article addresses the obstacles to archiving information in any current digital form. There are two major obstacles: obsolescence of physical medium and software format. In regard to physical media, we must rely upon admittedly fragile formats such as magnetic tape, to media with unknown real-life longevity such as CD-ROM. On the software side, content is interwoven with format in the bitstream. The author maintains that without a "bootstrap" of paper telling someone in the future what software format was used, some digital documents will be unreadable. He even addresses the question of "hardware and software independent" formats by breaking down a relational database. However, he did not answer such questions as whether or not simpler standards such as ASCII will remain an independent standard, or for that matter logical structure formats based in ASCII such as SGML. He also did not account for the nature of humans; if there are now translation dictionaries for reading the treasures of our linguistic history, there will probably be software equivalents as our digital archives age. -- RR

Multimedia and Hypermedia

Powell, Corey S. "The Rights Stuff: Buying and Selling Art in a Digital World" Scientific American 272(1) (January 1995):30-31. -- This article is a helpful introduction to the issues involved in using images as part of a digital publication or service. It also mentions many of the seminal projects involving the mass distribution of art images. The use of art images has obvious appeal for both educational purposes (museums) and for making money (CD-ROM publishers and again museums). The issues of how to contain the seemingly liquid digital images so that their use does not dilute the making of money or, more seriously, the full educational effect, are numerous and complex. The sheer reproducibility of digital images plays havoc with the sacredness attributed to unique art objects in the past, in a way that producers of text are long familiar with. This article would make an apt and contemporary prologue to reading Walter Benjamin's "Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction". -- RR

Research Libraries Group. Digital Imaging Technology for Preservation: Proceedings from an RLG Symposium Held March 17 and 18, 1994 at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. 139 pages. -- Although the title suggests that this volume is primarily of interest to librarians, and within that group, to preservation specialists, its appeal should be broader. From the highly readable keynote addresses by M. Stuart Lynn (president of the Commission on Preservation and Access and past Vice President for Information Technologies at Cornell University) and Donald J. Waters (associate university librarian at Yale University) are, in many ways, descriptions of the path toward the digital library. The tutorials, especially "Imaging System Components and Standards," by Pamela R. Mason, and "Data Conversion: A Tutorial on Electronic Document Imaging," by Don R. Williams are practical, informative pieces for those interested in digital imaging. -- JLO

Networks and Networking

Blumenstyk, Goldie. "Accord in the 'Mosaic' War" Chronicle of Higher Education 41(17) (January 6, 1995):A21-A22. -- In another product dispute involving Internet navigation tools, the developers of Mosaic and the developers of Netscape Navigator, have signed an agreement upholding Netscape Communications Corporation's right to sell its product without interference from the University of Illinois. The dispute stemmed from the claim that Netscape's product looked too much like Mosaic, a Web browsing tool developed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and copyrighted in 1992. Both parties make their software available free for academic and non-profit users although they are also both interested in commercial uses of their products. -- MP

DeLoughry, Thomas J. "Patent Claim Stirs Fears About Popular Internet Tool" Chronicle of Higher Education 41(18) (January 13, 1995):A20. -- The resolution of a patent dispute involving the use of GIF, or the Graphics Interchange Format used for exchanging images on the network has raised concerns among Internet users. Many institutions that are creating Web pages are worried that they will now be held legally liable for using GIF in violation of Unisys' patent. The company, however, said that it would concentrate its patent-protection efforts on those publishers who are developing programs using GIF for the commercial market rather than the non-profit sector. -- MP

Jacox, Corinne and Brian Striman. "Internet Resources for Law" College & Research Libraries News 56(1) (January 1995):18-20. -- This article is a selective list of Internet sources including gopher and Web sites as well as ftp files and Usenet groups. Legal information on the Net is constantly changing so the authors have chosen sites they consider to be the most stable. Most sites listed contain combinations of judicial, legislative, executive, constitutional, state and international law. -- MP

Lewis, Peter H. "Trying to Find Gold With the Internet" The New York Times (January 3, 1995):C15, C18. "E-Cash Makes the Web Go Around" The New York Times (January 3, 1995):C15. "Site-Seeing on the World-Wide Web" The New York Times (January 3, 1995):C18. In a special new year's edition of the Business Section aimed at providing an economic outlook for 1995, several articles recount the phenomenal growth last year of Internet use in business. From the seemingly mundane rise in the use of business-to-business computer networks to the now-famous Pizza Hut in Santa Cruz, Calif. which allows customers to order pizza via e-mail to the emergence of "retail shops" on the World-Wide Web, the media picked up on several Internet-related stories in 1994. Not surprisingly, New York Times editors predict that the link between business and the Internet will continue to grow in 1995. Internet users are considered to be an upscale market with real buying power that businesses want to tap. Furthermore, World-Wide Web has become an "acceptable" advertising zone on the Internet where entrepreneurship has traditionally been taboo. Included among these articles is a sampling list of practical and frivolous Web sites. -- MP

McLaughlin, Margaret L. "Not Waiting for the Information Superhighway: the Art Site on the World Wide Web" [URL: annenberg/artfinal.html] -- McLaughlin, a professor of communications at USC, explores the growing number of art-related sites on the WWW. She looks at 37 sites, focusing on the issues of interactivity, hyper- textuality, and accessibility. She also covers the 'art-world' culture, and how it is translating, or transforming, in its migration toward an online culture. -- RR

Rotenberg, Marc. "Information Policy: Electronic Privacy Legislation in the United States" Journal of Academic Librarianship 20(4) (September 1994):227-230. -- This article provides an in depth overview of current legislative proposals addressing emerging privacy concerns as well as the privacy of medical records, communications and individuals in the workplace. None of the current proposals, however, provide for privacy protection for the Internet. Therefore, the Internet community should develop a policy that recognizes the special needs and practices of Internet users and which, among other things, seeks to respect the confidentiality of private communications, protects the anonymity of Internet users, and supports the development of technologies, such as encryption schemes, that protect privacy. -- MP

Shea, Virginia. Netiquette. Albion Books, San Francisco. 1994. 154 pages. -- Shea's book is a welcome addition to the growing number of attempts to describe, if not entirely codify, the conventions, customs, and "laws" of the Internet (often referred to in the book as cyberspace). In a mix of straightforward suggestions and "frequently asked questions," the author offers chapters on "Basics," "Business Netiquette," "Social Netiquette," and "Legal and Philosophical issues in Netiquette." The "Basics" section is the strongest with chapters on "Core Rules," various components of e-mail including "style" and "flaming," and thin, but useful sections on netiquette for retrieving information and egregious netiquette errors. This volume would be a useful source for trainers and a reference for all experienced and new users alike in order to build, as Shea and others have described, a "cyberspace commons." -- JLO

Tillman, Hope H. "Review of Current Newsletters Devoted to the Internet" posted to on Dec. 5, 1994. [URL:] -- In this useful overview of Internet newsletters, Tillman evaluates eleven current awareness publications. Included are newsletters specifically for CPAs, Internet novices, the business community, and others. -- RT

Uretsky, Sam. "Addressing AIDS" Internet World 8(1) (January 1995): 56-59 ( -- Although interesting in its own right as a description of the history and current sources of AIDS-related information on the Internet, this piece is also useful as a case study. It reminds the reader not only of the wide and disparate variety of Internet sources covering a topic (from Usenet Newsgroup to gopher to online library catalog to Web home page), but also that there is a curious mix of social and technological history in any subject-related information source; perhaps more so for network sources. Sources for AIDS information started with a one-woman phone-based clearinghouse and have proceeded to well- organized gophers, newsgroups, and Web sites. Along the way the technology combined with some human habits to produce information cul-de-sacs and inaccuracies. Uretsky's article concisely summarizes these and, though he does not draw the point, his descriptions can be generalized to help explain the vagaries of network information in general. -- JLO

Current Cites 6(1) (January 1995) ISSN: 1060-2356 Copyright (C) 1995 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.

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