Current Cites (Digital Library SunSITE)

Volume 13, no. 2, February 2002

Edited by Roy Tennant

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

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Margaret Gross, Shirl Kennedy, Leo Robert Klein, Jim Ronningen, Roy Tennant

Borden, Mark "Rip-Resistant CDs Do Not Compute" Business 2.0 (January 2002) (,1640,36644,FF.html) - They've succeeded in strangling Napster, and they've sued MusicCity and KaZaA. They're in the process of launching subscription music services that severely limit what a customer may do with the music he or she has paid to download. Well, now the recording industry "is testing what could be the least popular copyright protection plan yet" — digital rights management schemes that keep an audio CD from being played in the CD drive on a personal computer. Obviously, this is an attempt to keep consumers from "ripping and burning." Universal Music, the largest of the record labels, says it plans to put copy protection on all its CDs within six months. Meanwhile, the other labels are quietly testing copy-protected CDs in certain markets. Unfortunately, the copy protection technology keeps some of these disks from playing in car CD players, DVD players or videogame consoles. Complaints from users are on the increase; people are returning what they perceive to be defective disks, creating logistical headaches and bad publicity. (If you're worried about ending up with one of these things, check out Fat Chuck's Corrupt CDs — — before you lay your money down.) Hackers, meanwhile, are ramping up to take on this latest challenge to their technological prowess. - SK

Brockman, William S., Laura Neumann, Carole L. Palmer, and Tonyia J. Tidline. "Scholarly Work in the Humanities and the Evolving Information Environment" Council on Library and Information Resources, December 2001 ( - While we often say that we want to build library collections and services that our clientele will find effective and easy to use, we don't always know exactly what that may mean for particular segments of our users. This document begins to answer some of those questions for humanities scholars by looking at they approach their work and how new technologies are changing it. This isn't always easy, as they point out. "A blithe comment from one of our respondents is worth reflection: "I want everything at my fingertips." This may seem like an unattainable goal; nonetheless, it is the job of researchers and information professionals to figure out the best ways to make progress toward this end. "Everything," in this scholar's words, does not really mean everything; it means those things that make a difference in the scholar's ability to do work well. What it means to do work well can be studied, understood, and responded to in the information systems we develop." Their research, and this report on it, is good beginning to this process. - RT

Budapest Open Access Initiative ( - The Open Society Institute (OSI) held a meeting on December first and second of last year that resulted in the creation of the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI). The BOAI manifesto, which was written by Stevan Harnad, Michael Eisen, Peter Suber, and other meeting participants, vigorously advocates "open access" to peer-reviewed articles, which is defined as follows: "By 'open access' to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited." You'll note that it's not just free access to scholarly articles that's proposed, but also free reuse of these articles by any party for any purpose as long as the integrity of the articles is preserved and they are properly attributed and cited. The two main strategies recommended by the BOAI are self-archiving and alternative journals. The BOAI FAQ is essential reading for fully understanding the BOAI. As of 2/14/02, over 350 individuals and 30 organizations had signed the BOAI, and others are encouraged to do so. The Open Society Institute will support open access projects with one million dollars per year for a three-year period. Check out the BOAI home page for more information on this important initiative. - CB

Charles, Susan K. "Knowledge Management Lessons from the Document Trenches" Online 26 (1) (January/February 2002). - A preliminary version of the document is available at; The author, an Information/Research Analyst with Hewlett Packard, presents a case study based on her own experience at HP. She describes the trials, the pitfalls, the caveats, and the disappointment encountered during an attempt to implement a comprehensive knowledge management (KM) system within her organization. Covered are the typical steps that need to be taken in order to launch such a program. Needs must be evaluated and enunciated. Existing data and databases must be located and integrated. The developers of a KM initiative should get to know the perspective endusers, should elicit their recommendations, and should familiarize them with the benefits of the planned system. Despite best intentions, and best laid plans this KM project has languished. Thus, to complete the article, the author presents an overview of lessons learned. The tenets are based on the Oz and Sosik article (Oz, Effy &; John J. Sosik, "Why Information Systems Projects are Abandoned; A Leadership and Communication Theory and Exploratory Study"; Journal of Computer Information Systems, 41 (1), Fall 2000, pp 66-78). - MG

Costello, Eric and Apple Developer Connection. "Remote Scripting with IFRAME" O'Reilly Network (February 8, 2002) ( - Script kiddies are going to love this discussion by Eric Costello of remote scripting through an IFRAME. Basically the idea is to dynamically generate information coming quite possibly from a database through a tiny window called an IFRAME. This obviates the need to keep constantly going from one window to another just because a piece of information changes. The web, and in this case, the web page, is becoming a far more dynamic place with much of the action taking place 'under the hood' so to speak. This is just one in a number of articles showing great creativity on the part of web developers in applying standard's based approaches to mark-up and page layout. See and Costello's own (just to name two) for more examples. - LRK

Debowski, Shelda "Wrong way: Go Back! An Exploration of Novice Search Behaviours While Conducting an Information Search." Electronic Library 19(6) (2001): 371-382. - Detailed look at how 48 undergraduates from Western Australia navigated the SilverPlatter version of ERIC on CD-ROM. This included what the students were typing in the search boxes. Not surprisingly, results bordered on the calamitous. Students were unable to pick up on promising avenues of exploration at the same time as they repeated, perhaps as a sign of exhaustion, previous failed strategies. The author is right to point out that "good searching is not something that comes naturally to us all", particularly where structured language is concerned. The need for a "strong supportive structure" is clearly illustrated. - LRK

Dekkers, Makx and Stuart L. Weibel. "Dublin Core Metadata Initiative Progress Report and Workplan for 2002" D-Lib Magazine 8(2) (February 2002) ( - Long-time readers of Current Cites are probably getting tired of us citing articles on the Dublin Core. A search of our database brings up 21 citations since 1996. But there is a good reason for this. The Dublin Core is probably our best hope for a common meeting ground between a collection of metadata standards that is evocative of the Tower of Babel. Although the DC is not large enough (it is a core, after all), nor granular enough, or adequately qualified (yet) for many metadata uses, we can all "dumb down" our metadata enough to contribute records into a common pot. And sometimes that makes all the difference in the world. So with this progress report we finally see DC coming into its own. NISO passed it as ANSI Standard Z39.85 (albeit by the skin of its teeth). But more importantly, the Open Archives initiative adopted it as the only required metadata element set OAI-compliant archives must support. This development alone may be enough to solidify the position of the DC at the center of disparate communities with metadata to share. - RT

Digital Library Forum. A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections Institute of Museum and Library Services, Washington, DC: 2002 ( - It wasn't all that long ago that any library wanting to embark on a project to digitize a collection and put it online for all to see would be making up a lot of the process from scratch. Thankfully, those days are now over. No more evidence of this is required than this online document, which not only makes good, clear statements regarding best practices for doing this type of activity, but also points to the growing literature on the topic. Principles are laid down in the areas of collections, objects (creating and preserving digital versions), metadata, and projects. The principles are good ones and the pointers are invaluable. Although this document itself is a quick read, the items it points you to can keep you busy for weeks. Compared to the state of affairs not long ago, it is an embarrassment of riches. If you find something you don't like, or are missing something you'd like to see, the document is in draft form and comments are solicited until at least May 1, 2002. - RT

Guernsey, Lisa. "You Can Surf, but You Can't Hide" The New York Times (February 7, 2002) ( - "Presence awareness" is an intriguing but somewhat scary technology that could well put an end to phone tag — at a cost of upping the general paranoia level. This is something that can be programmed into cell phones and other wireless devices so that users will be able to tell, instantly, whether another person's gizmo is turned on and in use. Some systems may incorporate a GPS element, making it possible to track another user geographically. While this may give some of us the willies, one assistant professor at NYU who studies Internet relationships feels that presence technology can provide reassurance to those who "are comforted when they can see the distant movements of people from their inner circles, like family and friends." Instant messaging applications are already giving us a taste of this, as our "buddy lists" allow us to see who is online and how long someone has been logged in. Some of the obvious privacy issues can be addressed by building in "permission features or other blocking tools." Then, of course, users would be faced with "the social dilemma of managing privacy without appearing rude." - SK

Johnson, Carey "Résumé Spamming Brings an Online Backlash" The Washington Post (January 25, 2002) ( - You have to figure this was inevitable; in the face of rising unemployment among dot-com and technology workers, unsolicited resumes "are beginning to clutter electronic inboxes across the nation." Since it costs nothing to append additional e-mail addresses to a message, many job-seekers are taking the chance. "There's no penalty for trying," says a San Francisco State University professor. "Ants will find a hole in the wall to get the bread." Alas, employers tend not to look favorably on "job-related spam," and there have already been instances of severe backlash against candidates trying this scattershot approach. Those who send their resumes as attachments to messages are even less likely to get noticed, as corporate e-mail users commonly shun attachments due to fear of viruses. - SK

Jones, Trevor and Beth Sandore. "'We don't know the first thing about digitization:' Assessing the Need for Digitization Training in Illinois" RLG DigiNews 6(1) (February 15, 2002) ( - Results and implications of a survey that assessed the level of expertise in digitization at a number of Illinois libraries, museums and archives. Of those responding (32%), most reported having the tools of digitization (namely a scanner) but lacking the knowledge, as the authors put it, to "effectively digitize cultural heritage collections". Efforts to remedy this situation through appropriate outreach and training are also covered. - LRK

Large, Andrew, Jamshid Beheshti, and Tarjin Rahman. "Design Criteria for Children's Web Portals : The Users Speak Out." Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 53(2) (2002): 79-94. - 'Out of the mouths of babes' is just as good a title for this article. The authors poll children on the relative merits of four different portal sites. The kiddies' verdict: give us more colors, graphics and "fun stuff"! Can't wait for this crowd to hit grade 13! In any case, the article is just one of several looking at user evaluation of material on the web in this special issue devoted to web research. - LRK

Newman, David V. "Impersonal interactions and ethics on the World-Wide-Web" Ethics and Information Technology 3(4) 2001, p. 239-246 - Since anyone who has browsed the Web has been confronted with unwanted Web content, readers may glance at this article and wonder why a guy would publish what appear to be his first baby steps toward understanding a common experience. However, like any good philosopher, the author is getting down to the fundamental elements of what is occurring: in this case, the interaction between the Web user and the Web authors who are imposing popup windows and attack pages on his browser. His thesis is that "any situation involving personal interaction that takes control of a person's computer without informed consent brings about a species of moral problem that is only possible with computers." Newman analyzes what separates this from other conduits for unsolicited advertising, and defines the basic conflict as being between free speech rights (the Web authors) and property rights (the computer user). His rather naive proposal for the development of an advance-warning system to help users fend off browser-ambush sounds like a type of metadata which the unscrupulous could easily work around. Still, this short piece is a useful poke in the ribs to stop monkeying with details for awhile and step back to ponder basic principles. - JR

Pyle, Ransford C. and Charles D. Dzuiban. "Technology: Servant or Master of the Online Teacher?" Library Trends 50(1) (Summer 2001): 130-144. - The voice of experience is what speaks though this article which Library Trend thoughtfully reprints as part of its special issue devoted to computer-assisted instruction. The message here is not to get carried away with the technology. Indeed, the author admits from the outset that he is concerned with the "more fundamental problem of teaching and learning". He then goes on to examine where online instruction can do the most good and at what level in the intellectual development of the student. He concludes, "if we think of the World Wide Web as a medium for teaching, we necessarily move to questions of the nature of this medium, what it can do, what it can do well, how we develop teaching styles consonant with the Web and with our personal styles and pedagogies and how we integrate it, or not, with existent educational institutions. And all these questions must somehow fit the learning strategies of our students." - LRK

Spring, Tom. "The Price of Free E-Mail Rises" (January 24, 2002) (,aid,81324,00.asp) - "Free" is an increasingly scarce commodity on the Internet, and Web-based e-mail accounts are being squeezed. Two of the largest providers — Yahoo! and MSN's Hotmail — have quietly added fee services, and are cutting back on perks to free users. While free e-mail is unlikely to disappear entirely, you can increasingly count on being hit up for popular features such as forwarding and extra storage above a minimal level. Providers are also merging or outright disappearing, so users are left with fewer choices. IDC researchers estimate that there are currently more than 150 million free Web-based e-mail accounts in existence. - SK

Current Cites 13(2) (February 2002) ISSN: 1060-2356
Copyright © 2002 by the Regents of the University of California All rights reserved.

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Copyright © 2002 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
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Last update February 25, 2002. SunSITE Manager: