Current Cites (Digital Library SunSITE)

Volume 8, no. 1, January 1997

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 ] [ Networks and Networking ] [ General ]

Electronic Publishing

Brown, Elizabeth W. and Andrea L. Duda. "Electronic Publishing Programs in Science and Technology, Part 1: The Journals" Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship 13 (Fall 1996-Winter 1997). ( -- This survey article summarizes information on the electronic publishing programs of fourteen commercial and professional association publishers in science and technology fields. The tabular format makes it easy to quickly survey the offerings. Read it online and you can "click through" to the publisher's Web sites. Part two of the article to be published in the next issue will focus on abstracting and indexing services. -- RT

Litman, Jessica. "Copyright Law and Electronic Access to Information" First Monday 4 ( -- Litman's article is adapted from a speech she gave to LITA at the 1996 meeting of the American Library Association. It's a skillful summation of the tension between "fair use" values and market values. Readers will also appreciate the easy-to-follow guide to the first draft of the "Lehman Report" which set the stage for the late 1996 international debate about copyright. This is a useful refresher on the issues. -- TH

"Metadata, Dublin Core and USMARC: A Review of Current Efforts" MARBI Discussion Paper no. 99, Library of Congress, January 21, 1997. (gopher:// -- If you have no need to describe images for Internet access, and the word "metadata" has no meaning to you, then skip this cite. The rest of you should pull up a scanner and have a seat. Describing the essential elements of a text document or image for the purposes of providing access to it is the process of collecting metadata, or information about information. Librarians have been doing this for centuries, with some very powerful and yet quite complicated tools (MARC, AACR2, etc.). With the advent of the Internet and digitization technologies, we are suddenly faced with the prospect of trying to provide structured access to millions of individual images, text documents, manuscripts, sound files, movies, or whatever else can be stored on a computer. A simple and yet extensible standard for describing digital objects would allow just about anyone to describe their files in a way that could be interpreted by almost anyone else, and thus provide easy access to a huge amount of digital content. Right now the draft standard that appears to be making the greatest headway is called the Dublin Core, named for the town in Ohio where the first meeting was held to begin the process (the home of OCLC). This serves as a useful overview of the Dublin Core effort to date, as well as how the Dublin Core elements can be mapped to the USMARC format. -- RT

Samuelson, Pamela. "On Authors' Rights in Cyberspace: Questioning the Need for New International Rules on Author's Rights in Cyberspace" First Monday 4 ( -- Pam Samuelson is the best person to read in order to sort out intellectual property and electronic media. As a professor of law (as well as information management) at UC Berkeley, she has followed the perils facing "fair use" for years. In this typically excellent review of the issues, she offers a realistic look at the legal precedents, and argues that we need to continue to balance competing rights and privileges or else run the risk of stifling technological creativity. She says, "No sooner did governments around the world "discover" cyberspace than they became intent on regulating it." And also: "New regulations may indeed only restrict access to information and impede the application of new technologies by authors and their audiences." -- TH

Weibel, Stuart and Eric Miller. "Image Description on the Internet: A Summary of the CNI/OCLC Image Metadata Workshop" D-Lib Magazine (January 1997). ( -- This article describes the third meeting of the Dublin Core effort (see the article "Metadata, Dublin Core and USMARC: A Review of Current Efforts" in this issue of Current Cites for an overview). This meeting focused on the particular issues regarding image description. The meeting led to a revision of the core elements to better generalize them to apply to either images or document-like objects. The links listed at the end of the article are essential references to the latest developments regarding this important standard. -- RT

Networks and Networking

Kessler, Jack Internet Digital Libraries: The International Dimension. Boston: Artech House, 1997. -- Kessler has written a thoughtful and thought-provoking book on international aspects of digital libraries. Using a writing style that is both scholarly and easily readable (no minor achievement), he ponders a number of issues that have not yet been well considered by digital library developers. Although the reader may assume that the reports on digital library developments in specific countries serve as the main thrust of the work, it is actually the thematic essays which sandwich them that are the real heart. Notable among them are an interesting dissection of the term "digital library," and discussions of the barriers/opportunities of language, politics, and the standards process. The biggest mistake one can make about this book is thinking that it is only appropriate for those specifically interested in the international dimensions of digital libraries. These days, digital libraries are by default international in scope, whether we like it or not, and those of us involved with building them should be at least aware of some of the issues Kessler raises. -- RT

Valauskas, Edward J. "Lex Networkia: Understanding the Internet Community." First Monday 4 ( -- First Monday editor Valauskas explores the self-regulating nature of Internet communities, and the absence of any awareness among would-be regulators as to how these communities work. He provides a list of definitions, parameters, codes of conduct and social protocols as evidence of a lively electronic space, and argues that an upward initiative to codify this culture into a "lex networkia" might be the best strategy for preserving it in the face of the current challenge of formal government regulation. -- TH


Murphy, Kate. "Moving from the Card Catalogue to the Internet: To Control the Information Glut, Librarians Become More Technologically Oriented." New York Times (January 6, 1997):C15. -- Technologically-minded librarians who have been at it for a good long time may allow themselves a snicker at being "discovered" by the New York Times. Librarians have been involved not only in using new technology but exploring solutions to the problems users face, and Murphy finds a growing realization that this is a rather important--even marketable--set of skills. She also spins a good tale of technological innovation in libraries, particularly in the law and corporate sectors. And, recent MLIS graduates, take heart: according to the Times, corporate recruiters are beginning to show up at library schools, on the lookout for a few good information managers! -- TH

Current Cites 8(1) (January 1997) ISSN: 1060-2356 Copyright (C) 1997 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.

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