Current Cites (Digital Library SunSITE)

Volume 7, no. 12, December 1996

Edited by Teri Andrews Rinne

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

Contributors: Campbell Crabtree, Terry Huwe, Margaret Phillips, David Rez, Richard Rinehart, Teri Rinne, Roy Tennant

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

Electronic Publishing

DeLoughry, Thomas J. "Journal Articles Dating Back as Far as a Century are Being Put On Line" Chronicle of Higher Education 43(15) (December 6, 1996):A30-A32. -- This articles traces the development of the ambitious JSTOR program for digitizing journals from its earliest inception. As the brainchild of Mellon Foundation president William G. Bowen, JSTOR enjoyed long-term foundation support, and now has separate offices and its own board of trustees. JSTOR utilizes a World Wide Web interface, but allows scholars to view pages exactly as they appear in print. Although startup costs for participants constitute another financial challenge for research libraries, the release of "prime space for prime journals" is a tempting and much-needed benefit of the program. Moreover, JSTOR's information scientists believe that the system will allow libraries to build stronger links with faculty users and realize savings on costly microfilm and microfiche collection programs. -- TH

Guha, R.V. "Meta Content Format" ( -- Meta Content Format (MCF) is a proposed language from Apple Computer for representing meta content (see next cite). This white paper on MCF specifically mentions that MCF might be one way of implementing the Dublin Core in computer programs. MCF is also being submitted to the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) for adoption as a standard. A related article ( on MCF was published in the electronic journal for Macs, TidBITS. -- RR

Weibel, Stuart & Jean Godby, Eric Miller, Ron Daniel. "OCLC/NCSA Metadata Workshop Report" ( metadata/dublin_core_report.html) -- Meta content is information about content that might exist in a web page, web site, unstructured text file or highly structured database. Meta content has recently entered the world of HTML web pages in the form of META tags, which can contain information about a web page, such as it's creator, copyright info, or an index of keywords representing the page's content. Also significant for the academic, library, and cultural information sectors has been the development of the Dublin Core, a proposed set of core elements for representing meta-data about digital content that might exist as an image file, database, individual record, etc. Meta-data will allow these digital resources themselves to be cataloged and searched (particularly across the Internet) more easily regardless of their particular format or structure. This paper is the report from the workshop sponsored by OCLC and NCSA to develop the Dublin Core. The area of meta content and how it will be represented and implemented with have far reaching implications for anyone involved in the creation, management, or access of information in digital forms, making this report a recommended read. -- RR

Multimedia and Hypermedia

"RTSP is a Proposed Standard for Delivery of Real-Time Media Over the Internet and Intranets" ( -- RSTP (Real Time Streaming Protocol) is a new proposed standard for delivering audio, video, animation, and other time-based multimedia over the Internet. This article is a short press announcement of the new proposal, but contains enough detail to be useful as an introduction. The proposal, which is supported by 40 industry players, is significant in two ways. First, it would standardize and facilitate quick cross-platform development of tools for delivering multimedia in real time across the Internet. A major obstacle to this thus far has been the confusion and proliferation of proprietary solutions, many platform bound. Second, the proposal is being submitted to the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) for review and adoption as an open standard. The connectivity of the Internet (and probably fear of Microsoft) is encouraging the computer industry to work together to create open standards - which is encouraging news indeed for the non-commercial sector since tools can be developed as freeware or cheaper commercially, and there will be less confusion about which formats are most accessible or archivable. There is another short companion article about the relationship of RTSP and Microsoft's strategy at the ( publication/cmp/CWK/19961028/CWK19961028S0121.html) Communications Week website. -- RR

Ryer, Kelly. "Apple Charts QTML Future" MacWeek 10(45) (November 25, 1996):10, 12 -- QTML does not stand for QuickTime Markup Language, thank goodness, but rather QuickTime Media Layer. QuickTime is a popular format for the creation of multimedia on and off the web. Even though it is possible to playback QuickTime files on Windows machines, it was possible to author QT only on Macs. Playback of QT variations (QT-VR, QT-3D, etc.) was questionable. QTML purports to overcome that limitation to one platform which made QT an appealing but limited choice for non-commercial media authors who are concerned with maximum accessibility and standards-based information. QTML is incorporating MPEG and motion JPEG (two standards) as well as creating an applications layer interface which will make it possible to easily create QT programs for authoring and playback on multiple platforms. Ease of use and ability to cross platforms are major advantages for those in the information access sector who need to deal with multimedia. -- RR

Networks and Networking

Shrage, Michael. "Cultural Currency" ( -- This article examines the role of non-profit organizations in continuing development of the web, using the case study of museums online. While the author is perhaps over-hasty to judge that museums in general have made poor use of the web, the particular museum web project mentioned as worthy is indeed exciting (the Guggenheim sponsorship of Internet-based artworks). Overall the article is an encouraging argument that while the commercial sector has taken over much development of the web, there is still a vital role to be played by the non-profit and education sector. -- RR


"Books, Bricks and Bytes" Daedalus 125(4) (Fall 1996) Special Issue: What is the role of the library in the context of a world that is in the midst of making a giant leap from the industrial age to the information age? -- In an issue devoted entirely to libraries, Daedalus ponders the many implications of the digital library. Whether you are a librarian, a scholar, a publisher or a concerned citizen -- in other words if you are a member of a community served by a library: that is, if are a member of the public -- this special issue covers the entire scope of questions confronting the library community of the late 20th century. Among the topics covered are: the National Information Infrastructure and all that it implies about intellectual property, fair use and electronic publishing ("What is a Digital Library? Technology, Intellectual Property, and the Public Interest" by Peter Lyman and "Buy or Lease? Two Models for Scholarly Information at the End (or the Beginning) of an Era" by Ann Okerson); the changing nature of the library profession ("A Library Historian Looks at Librarianship" by Kenneth Carpenter and "Librarianship: A Changing Profession" by Peter Young); the role of libraries in shaping communities both here in the United States ("Redefining Community the Public Library" by Deanna Marcum) and abroad ("Problems of Russian Libraries in an Age of Social Change" and "The Story of Libraries in India"); libraries as buildings ("Bricks and Bytes: Libraries in Flux"); the history of libraries ("The History of the French National Library") and the future of libraries ("The Centrality of Communities to the Future of Major Public Libraries" by Kenneth Dowlin and Eleanor Shapiro and "American Public Libraries: A Long Transformative Moment" by Susan Kent Goldberg). There are nineteen articles in all, more than can be summarized in this far-too-brief cite. --

Buildings, Books, and Bytes: Libraries and Communities in the Digital Age. Washington, DC: Benton Foundation, November 1996. ( -- Anyone involved with a library should read this report. Luckily, many of them have already received it. The American Library Association teamed up with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (which funded the report) to mail it out to 20,000 ALA members in leadership positions. The rest of us can simply visit the Web site to read it. The purpose of the report is to discover "where the public supports -- or fails to support -- libraries as they confront the digital world." We may not always like what we read, but we need to read it. -- RT

Current Cites 7(12) (December 1996) ISSN: 1060-2356 Copyright (C) 1996 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.

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