Current Cites

Volume 14, no. 3, March 2003

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, Roy Tennant

"Legal Issues Don't Hinder American DownloadersIpsos America (14 March 2003) ( - Most Internet users who download music via P2P file sharing systems do not believe they are huring recording artists, according to Ipsos America, an advertising and marketing research provider. Ipsos, which surveys "digital music behaviors" quarterly, estimates that 40 million Americans downloaded music in the 30 days prior to release of the study results. This is approximately 18 percent of the U.S. population over the age of 12. The trend is upward, with (as you might expect) Internet users under 25 at the forefront. Ipsos's research reveals that 75 percent of downloaders says their primary reason for doing so is to sample music prior to buying. Only 9 percent think that what they're doing may be wrong, and just 21 percent feel as if their actions might be hurting musicians. Statistical charts of the study results are available for downloading in PDF format. - SK

Bannan, Karen. "Search Engines' Positive Results Drive Price WarsBtoB   (10 March 2003) ( - We've been led to believe that the online advertising market is completely down the toilet, but actually there's one sector that is booming -- pay-per-click and pay-for-placement search engine marketing. In pay-per-click search engine marketing, the most common model, advertisers bid on particular keywords, and the one who bids highest is the one whose ad is displayed in the most prominent spot, sometimes as a sponsored link but sometimes integrated into the search results. In this model, the advertiser pays nothing unless someone clicks on the advertisement. You can purchase these ads either directly -- by going right to a search engine (as with Google AdWords), or by going through an aggregator like Overture or LookSmart. A year ago, this type of advertising was in its infancy. Now that it's become popular and many businesses are bidding on the same keywords, price per click has gone way up, particularly at the larger search engines. One result is that advertisers are increasingly using analysis software to determine whether their dollars are being spent wisely -- e.g., which keywords are the most productive, etc. According to one IT analyst, marketers are getting smarter about the keywords they choose. - SK

Krim, Johnathan.  "Spam's Cost To Business    p. A01 (13 March 2003) ( - It just keeps getting worse and worse. Brightmail, a vendor of anti-spam solutions, says that spam currently comprises 40 percent of e-mail traffic (up from 8 percent in late 2001, and having doubled in just the last six months), and some see that number approaching 50 percent in the not-too-distant future. Imagine that -- half of all U.S. e-mail traffic will soon be spam! Pass the Prozac, please. According to Jason Catlett, founder of Junkbusters Corp., "We're seeing a slow degradation of the medium. Many people don't get on the Internet or abandon it because they don't like the trash that they see." One research firm estimates the annual cost to organizations of dealing with spam to be in the $10 billion range, including "lost productivity and the additional equipment, software and manpower needed to combat the problem." This comprehensive article parses the problem, discusses the legal implications, and offers some hints and tips for the individual user. And it's full of interesting facts. Did you know that AOL's spam filters block 1 billion messages every single day? And if you think that's scary, consider this: According to John C. Mozena, a founder of the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-Mail, "There are 24 million small businesses in the country. If just 1 percent of those got hold of your e-mail address, and each of them sent you one e-mail a year, that's 657 messages in your inbox every day. And that's just small businesses." - SK

Lane, Megan.  "Is This the Library of the Future?BBC News Online   (18 March 2003) ( - Written in a rather whimsical style, this short article makes a serious statement about the direction in which libraries are evolving. The word 'library' may eventually be dropped from our vocabulary, to be replaced by the 'idea store'. Books are being displaced by computers, multimedia content, playgrounds, thematic displays, and cafes. This is proving extremely propular, given the surge in client population. The library locales mentioned are local, however, the transformation of libraries is universal. - MG

Lynch, Clifford A.  "Institutional Repositories: Essential Infrastructure for Scholarship in the Digital AgeARL: A Bimonthly Report on Research Library Issues and Actions from ARL, CNI, and SPARC    p. 1-7 (February 2003) ( - In this article, Clifford A. Lynch, with his usual clarity and insight, overviews institutional repositories, discusses their strategic importance, examines key issues, considers how they may promote infrastructure standards, and speculates on possible future developments. He defines an institutional repository as "a set of services that a university offers to the members of its community for the management and dissemination of digital materials created by the institution and its community members." A repository could contain research materials (including data files), teaching materials, and documentation about the institution. A critical function of a repository is the long-term preservation of this information. Lynch voices three concerns about repositories. First, they should not become a tool for enforcing administrative control over faculty works. Second, they should not be unduly constrained by policies designed to promote other agendas such as creating virtual e-journals (although they may contribute to this effort by providing essential infrastructure that supports it). Third, they should not be established without institutions making well-considered, long-term commitments to their operation. On this point, he notes that: "Stewardship is easy and inexpensive to claim; it is expensive and difficult to honor, and perhaps it will prove to be all too easy to later abdicate." Lynch feels that repositories will promote progress in the areas of preservation formats, identifiers, and digital rights management. Over time, most higher education institutions will have repositories, and other types of institutions may as well. The "federation" of repositories will become an increasingly important area for experimentation. - CB

Pace, Andrew K.. The Ultimate Digital Library: Where the New Information Players Meet    Chicago: American Library Association, 2003. - This highly readable and provocative book should be required reading for any librarian who wishes to pay attention to where the field is heading. Although Pace may not be able to tell us with any certainty where we will end up, he knows the current hot spots and he touches on them all. From the pivotal relationship between libraries and vendors to competition from dot.coms, the changing face of public services, and the erosion of basic reader rights, this slim volume belies the span of territory covered inside. You may not have all the answers after reading this book, but you'll know some key questions and will have pondered them along with one of the sharpest minds of the profession. Strap yourself in and take the ride. - RT

Sapp, Gregg, and Ron  Gilmour.  "A Brief History of the Future of Academic Libraries: Predictions and Speculations from the Literature of the Profession, 1975 to 2000--part two, 1990 to 2000portal   3(3) p. 13-34 (January 2003) ( - Trip down memory lane is what this article qualifies as. The second part of a fascinating look at visions of the future past, this one covers the period 1990 to 2000. Anyone familiar with library literature from then (say, those going to library school at the time) will recognize as old friends many of the themes discussed here. This period included the advent of the Internet and Y2k among other things. Naturally, the closer we get to the current day, the less far flung the predictions become. By 1995 in fact, the authors identify a "growing feeling" in the literature "that technology will not bring about the total rebirth and redefinition of the library that had so frequently been predicted." Note, this is part of a wonderful issue of portal with articles addressing everything from hiring practices to the size of the reference desk. Bravo. - LRK

Steele, Colin.  "Phoenix Rising: New Models for the Research Monograph?Learned Publishing   16(2) p. 111-122 (April 2003) ( - This piece is an excellent overview of the problems besetting scholarly book publishing by university presses and some beginning steps to address these problems. Although written with a slight Australian perspective, Steele draws on examples from around the globe to illustrate the problems that are, if anything, more acute in Oz. Those interested in more on this topic could also explore the presentations of those who spoke at the Death of the Book? conference recently organized by Steele in Sydney. - RT

Current Cites - ISSN: 1060-2356
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