Current Cites (Digital Library SunSITE)

Volume 9, no. 9, September 1998

Edited by Teri Andrews Rinne

The Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720
ISSN: 1060-2356 - http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/CurrentCites/1998/cc98.9.9.html

Contributors: Christof Galli, Kirk Hastings, Terry Huwe, Margaret Phillips, Richard Rinehart, Jim Ronningen, Roy Tennant, Lisa Yesson

[ Digital Libraries ] [ Electronic Publishing ] [ Networks & Networking ] [ General ]

Digital Libraries

Kirschenbaum, Matthew. "Documenting Digital Images: Textual Meta-Data at the Blake Archive" The Electronic Library 16 (4) (August 1998): 239-241. - For digital library developers who are frustrated by how contextual information is lost when viewing image files, the experience of the William Blake Archive offers hope. Based at the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia, the goal of the William Blake Archive is to create a sustainable electronic environment for the scholarly study of Blake. Facing the challenge of how best to digitize the illuminated books which are the basis for Blake's literary reputation, the staff has pursued two complementary strategies. These strategies include (1) working exclusively with non-proprietary data standards (e.g., SGML, JPEG, TIFF) and (2) extensive use of Java programming. The staff creates an Image Documentation (ID) record to track the origin and processing of each image. They then insert the ID record into the portion of the JPEG file reserved for textual data. Through this approach the user can view the meta-data in a separate window by selecting the Info button within the archive or with some common software programs such as X-View (for Windows) or JPEGView (for Macintosh). - LY

Oder, Norman. "Cataloging the Net: Can We Do It?" Library Journal 123(16) (October 1, 1998):47-51. - The topic of "cataloging the net" has long been discussed by librarians, but when it comes to actual projects we have had only mixed results. This overview article takes a look at a number of the most significant projects, and delves into the issues of creating and maintaining indexes to Internet resources. Oder interviewed dozens of project managers, and their often differing opinions on what to do and how to go about it are reflected in the piece. Sidebars focusing on the Librarians' Index to the Internet (http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/InternetIndex/) and the major commercial efforts accompany the piece. [Note: In the interest of full disclosure, I am an LJ columnist.] - RT

Electronic Publishing

Weibel, S., J. Kunze, C. Lagoze, and M. Wolf. "Dublin Core Metadata for Resource Discovery" Request for Comments: 2413 Network Working Group, Internet Engineering Task Force, September 1998 (ftp://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2413.txt). - Readers of Current Cites were first introduced to the Dublin Core in the June 1996 issue. Now the online publication of this Request for Comments (RFC) is the first solid step toward the status of a draft standard. Although this RFC is informational only, and "does not specify an Internet standard of any kind", it nonetheless begins to codify for the network community the metadata consensus that has grown out of the DC Workshop Series. In this brief overview document, the authors outline the fifteen basic elements for recording such information about a resource as creator, title, description, subject, etc. Although this RFC will serve as a decent introduction to the DC, it only addresses DC semantics at the highest level. The all-too-sticky syntax is left for future documents to describe. Once, that is, it is settled. Anyone interested in making a mark in how things turn out is more than welcome to join in. See the Dublin Core Web site (http://purl.org/metadata/dublin_core) for more information. - RT

Networks & Networking

Cohen, Laura B. "Searching for Quality on the Internet: Tools and Strategies" Choice 35(Supplement) (August 1998):11-33. - Cohen's article appears as part of a special supplement to Choice devoted to reviews of Web resources appropriate to academic libraries. The piece cites and briefly describes major subject indexes and search tools for Internet resources. Cohen also provides searching information and tips at a level that anyone can understand. Various tables for summarizing key information about the cited resources accompany the article. - RT

Coyle, Karen. "A Short History of Internet Privacy" Educational Program Handout Materials, American Association of Law Libraries 91st Annual Meeting, July 11-16, 1998. Also available at authors's Web site: http://www.dla.ucop.edu/~kec/privacyprimer.html. - Coyle, of the California Digital Library (www.cdlib.org), spoke to law librarians in her capacity as a concerned volunteer with Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (www.cpsr.org). This "primer" was the accompanying handout, and is recommended as a concise explanation of ways that Internet use can currently compromise a user's privacy. Many of you may already understand transaction logging, clickstream tracking and cookies, but I'll wager that few have prepared a statement as clear and authoritative as this one. Folks who are afraid that Big Brother is looking over their shoulders as they netsurf can be referred here for the facts about what's likely to be recorded and why. The intention is certainly not to increase paranoia, but to inform so that privacy can be more effectively protected. - JR

D'Angelo, John and Sherry K. Little. "Successful Web Pages: What Are They and Do They Exist?" Information Technology and Libraries 17(2) (June 1998):71-81. - A research study undertaken by the authors attempted to answer the questions: "What published guidelines for Web page design currently exist?" and "Do existing Web pages adhere to the published guidelines?" The methodology used to answer the second question renders any conclusion to that question highly suspect, but if one focuses on the first question, the article serves as a useful literature review. The 200 references at the end of the article are a bit shocking until you realize that items are listed not once, but every time they are cited. This also makes it difficult to sift through what could have been a very useful bibliography in its own right. But, in the end, if you are wanting to discover what guidelines exist for Web page design, both in print and online, sifting through this piece is what you should do. - RT

Schwartz, Candy. "Web Search Engines" Journal of the American Society for Information Science 49(11) (1998):973-982. - Schwartz provides a thorough overview of the literature on Web search engines. Starting with a brief but surprisingly thorough and accurate historical overview, the article continues with a look at the present in terms of the literature on Web search engines, the types of search services available, the content they offer, their features, how results are presented, and their performance. The piece ends with a look to the future, focusing on personalization, results summarization, query expansion, coverage, and metadata. Overall, this is one of the best articles on search engines available. - RT

"Special Section: Coalition for Networked Information" Information Technology and Libraries 17(2) (June 1998): 82-108. - The Coalition for Networked Information is one of only a few organizations that bridge the gap between librarians, computer scientists, and other information professionals. CNI has been active in a number of areas that are of common interest to these groups, and the fact that ITAL has devoted most of this issue to it is a testimony to its impact. In this issue there are articles on building collaboration between librarians and information technologists and a variety of specific programs. - RT

General

Ray, Joyce M. "Search for Tomorrow: The Electronic Records Research Program of the U.S. National Historical Publications and Records Commission" Journal of Government Information 25(4) (July/Aug 1998): 367-373. - Grants! Now that I have your full attention... it may still be news for some that there is an affiliate of the National Archives and Records Administration (www.nara.gov) that awards grants for projects promoting the preservation and dissemination of documentary source materials. Since 1991, the focus has been on sources in electronic form. The grant recipients have been universities, state and local government agencies and historical societies. Grants have been awarded in such categories as electronic records research, finding aids and documentary editing efforts. The author examines a list of ten questions (published in the National Historical Publications and Records Commission Research Issues in Electronic Records) which many grantees have addressed, in full or in part. Two of the questions have inspired most of the funded electronic records research, so pay attention, potential applicants. The commission's Web site (www.nara.gov/nara/nhprc) describes the application process and provides links to successful projects, but it's worthwhile to track down this article for Ray's overview and insights. - JR


Current Cites 9(9) (September 1998) ISSN: 1060-2356
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Last update October 8, 1998. SunSITE Manager: manager@sunsite.berkeley.edu