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Allen, Mike. "Testing Whether Internet Readers Will Pay" The New York Times (September 16, 1996): C2. -- Using the experiences of the Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition (http://www.wsj.com/) as a model, this article poses the question as to whether Internet users are willing to pay for access to Web sites and other electronic journals. Although 650,000 people registered as readers of the Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition during its trial period, only about 10 to 30 percent stated a willingness to pay for the service. Other online news sites such as those from CNN (http://www.cnn.com/), USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com/) and the Los Angeles Times (http://www.latimes.com/) remain free; charging users for access to their services seems to be a goal but users' willingness to pay is still being studied. In an interesting twist, Microsoft (http://www.microsoft.com/) found one way to finance their electronic publication Slate (http://www.slate.com/) was by selling paper versions of it for $29.95 which is $10 more than what the online version will cost when it starts charging in November. -- MP
Hawkins, Donald T., "Information Metering: Paving the Way for Pay-Per-View Information" ONLINE 20(4) (July/August 1996): 36-41. -- Information metering will allow publishers and information providers to increase revenue from their intellectual property in a manner that is convenient yet affordable for users. Two companies' similar approaches to implementing an information 'pay-per-view' model are introduced. Encrypted information is provided at a minimal cost, and the user pays for selective decryption. Wave Systems, Inc. relies on an information-metering chip, while CD-MAX, Inc.'s metering capability comes with the content itself, in the form of software. -- CC
Peek, Robin, editor, "Special Topic Issue: Electronic Publishing" Journal of the American Society for Information Science 47(9) (1996) -- This special topic issue of JASIS covers many aspects of electronic publishing, including the redefinition of the basic concept of 'document' to include multimedia, multi-use collections of information which is demanding information professionals to become 'cyberliterate.' Other articles include a study of how scholars determine the value of digital library collections, a report of the trials and successes of the implementation of an electronic journal, and articles addressing the special concerns of electronically surveying the readership of electronic journals, and the organizational and practical design concerns of creating a guide to Internet resources. -- CC
Pemberton, Jeff. "An ONLINE Interview with Jeff Crigler at IBM infoMarket" ONLINE 20(4) (July/August 1996): 28-34. -- An interview with Jeff Crigler discussing IBM's infoMarket plan for metering the use of electronic information. The infoMarket scheme creates a third-party relationship between publisher and user, facilitating (and billing for) the use of material using a non-proprietary, but IBM-developed 'cryptolope' technology. A cryptolope is a secure data container with prices and usage restrictions built in. The user will have the option to buy a digital unlock key or, for a lower price, a view-only key. -- CC
Tally, Bill. "History Goes Digital" D-Lib Magazine (September 1996) (http://www.dlib.org/dlib/september96/09tally.html) -- An interesting and anecdotal description of how some teachers are using digital library resources in the classroom. Using a couple of teachers as examples, Tally describes both the challenges and opportunities that digital collections provide teachers to bring history alive. Embedded in the article are some tips for digital library developers on how to better serve the instructional needs of teachers like those in the article. -- RT
Willett, Perry. "The Victorian Women Writers Project: The Library as a Creator and Publisher of Electronic Texts" The Public-Access Computer Systems Review, 7(6) (1996). (http://info.lib.uh.edu/pr/v7/n6/will7n6.html) -- A brief description of a project to digitize poetry into formats suitable for network delivery and long-term storage. The issues faced and the decisions made by the Victorian Women Writers Project may be useful to others considering similar projects. -- RT
Bertot, John Carlo, Charles R. McClure and Douglas L. Zweizig. The 1996 National Survey of Public Libraries and the Internet: Progress and Issues. Washington, DC: U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, July 1996. (http://istweb.syr.edu/~mcclure/nspl96/NSPL96_TOC.html) -- This report updates the 1994 report on Public Libraries and the Internet cited in the July 1994 issue of Current Cites. This report asserts that since that time there has been a 113% increase in public library Internet connectivity and a 119% increase in public libraries offering public access to Internet services. On the other hand, nearly 40% of the public libraries without Internet connections have no plans to connect in the next 12 months. For more statistics as well as insights into how well or ill public libraries are integrating the Internet to their services, check out this report in either its online or print form. -- RT
"Internet Resources for the 1996 Election" College & Research Libraries News 57(8) (September 1996): 481-486. -- Prepared by the ACRL Law and Political Science Section Library Instruction Committee, this month's C&RL News article on Internet sources focuses on the 1996 election. On the national front it appears that only those candidates with a "realistic chance of winning" will be allowed to participate in the televised presidential debates; this article, however, takes a much more inclusive approach and lists Internet sites for many political parties including the Communist Party USA (http://www.hartford-hwp.com/cp-usa/), the Green Party (http://www.greens.org/), the Reform Party (http://www.reformparty.org/) along with, of course, official web sites for the Democrats (http://www.democrats.org/) and the Republicans (http://www.rnc.org/). Already out of date, references to individual candidates, the primaries and the two big conventions seem anachronistic but the annotations for everything on the list are thoughtful and include important information such as the site's sponsor and a brief summary of content. Particularly useful in this article are references with detailed annotations to news and non-partisan voter education sites on the Web such as the Countdown '96 Home Page (http://www.comeback.com/countdown/), AllPolitics (http://allpolitics.com/), Vote Smart Web (http://www.vote-smart.org/) and Voter Information Services (http://world.std.com/~voteinfo/). -- MP
Jerram, Peter. "Forms Follow Function" Byte 21(9) (September 1996) : 153-158. -- The promised "paperless office" remains an unrealized dream of the information age. However, new software products are making it much easier to manage electronic forms, both locally and on the World Wide Web. By coupling a crafty administrator with the right e-forms software package a company might easily find itself with far fewer paper forms to deal with. This article explores three of these software products from Paperless Performance (http://www.paperless.com/), Symantec's Delrina Group (http://www.delrina.com/) and JetForm Corp. (http://www.jetform.com/), and optimistically looks at the future of e-forms and the Web. -- DR
"State of the State Reports: Statewide Library Automation, Connectivity, and Resource Access Initiatives" Library Hi Tech 14(2-3) (1996): 1-348 -- This special double issue of Library Hi-Tech contains reports from representatives of 46 states outlining core library information technology and electronic library projects developed or developing in their states. The states not included are Arkansas, Hawaii, Massachusetts and South Carolina. There are two "Featured State Examples": "GALILEO: Georgia's Electronic Library" (http://www.galileo.peachnet.edu/) and "The Electronic Doorway Library Initiative" in New York. This issue also serves as a directory, with contact information for each of the contributors. The sheer size of the issue and the outline format of the reports make this issue more of a reference work than anything else. Although for many of us it is interesting to see how other states and institutions are grappling with the issues facing all of us; but be aware that these articles contain the quick summaries rather than the detailed answers. -- DR
"The Total Librarian" Review of Books and Multimedia Supplement, The Economist 340 (7983) (September 14, 1996): 12. -- The Economist rates Internet search engines to evaluate whether it is possible to successfully index the Internet. The authors provide humorous critiques (on Yahoo!: "...bringing order to all human knowledge is a long-standing Sysyphean folly, but Yahoo! comes close") and also evaluate the programming strategies employed by the more successful search engines. A new strategy in development would utilize PC-based "softbots" that learn about user interests and perform more complex textual parsing. What's missing? Any mention whatsoever of the authority control, structured fields, and other enhancements one expects to find in the information professions. What's the message? Lifetime employment for librarians who can sell themselves to Internet service providers. -- TH
Halfhill, Tom R. "CDs for the Gigabyte Era" Byte 21(10) (October 1996): 139-144. -- Digital Versatile Disc or Digital VideoDisc (DVD) has the potential to revolutionize mass storage for small systems. This new format type would take CD-ROM way beyond 650MB to as much as 17GB per CD-sized disc. This informative article explains the plethora of physical formats and the problems that such variety can cause (which has apparently pushed back the likelihood of seeing available products into 1997), but luckily this variety is limited to how the data is physically stored on the disc. There is only one logical format, called the Universal Disk Format (UDF), that all forms of DVD will support. One possible use of this technology would be to put a full-length feature movie on a disc along with a computer game or education software based on it on the same disc. Definitely a technology to watch, as many in the music and movie industry are already doing. -- RT
"Focus Interview" The Electronic Library 14(3) (June 1996): 225-229. -- In this brief but informative interview five librarians representing Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Canada and Mexico answer questions about library automation. The format is a simple question and answer mostly about topics that involve moving to automation in a library. For instance, procedures to define specs and functionality, the overall cost and staff training are all covered during the course of the interview. For anyone that might be looking at starting the process toward library automation this interview furnishes some good systems information that may save a step or two, at the very least it will provide an idea about what is involved. -- DR
Current Cites 7(9) (September 1996) ISSN: 1060-2356 Copyright (C) 1996 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.
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