Research news and notes from the National Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Education
Digital Library (NSDL) Program [Back Issues]

The Whiteboard Report
February 2002, Issue #15



Communication Portal Services
February 2002-- *COMING SOON THE NSDL MEETINGS AND EVENTS 'ASSISTANT'. Anyone who is a part of an NSDL Program Project knows that the exchange of ideas and information is at the heart of building the National Science Digital Library. To meet the growing NSDL community need to facilitate communication and collaboration among projects through participating in meetings,conference calls, events, workshops, and conferences the CI Communication Portal team has developed the NSDL Meetings and Events 'Assistant.' Using the NSDL 'Assistant' in the Communication Portal: COMMUNICATION PORTAL VISITORS MAY SEARCH FOR, view meeting and event information, view detail records of meeting and event information, and view attendee list (not attendee information) for meetings, conference calls, events, workshops, and conferences and register, or add themselves to the participant list. REGISTERED COMMUNICATION PORTAL USERS MAY ADD meetings, conference calls, events, workshops, and conferences to the calendar after logging in. They may add links to the display of 'NSDL Calendar of Upcoming Meetings and Events' from other CP homepages. *THIS MONTH'S CP HOT TIP Web pages in the Communication Portal may be 'static'--those pages that are accessed and edited through SSH, or 'dynamic'--those pages that are editable online using the Wiki web editor. BOTH techniques work together to help you build a workspace web site that accurately reflects the nature of the work being accomplished online. Take a look at the draft of an 'Open Wiki' implementation by Sarah Giersch, Susan Jesuroga, and John Saylor for the Collections Development Workspace homepage at 'to meet the diverse needs of people building, contributing to, or using NSDL collections.'

Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL) NSDL Submissions
February 2002-- *FROM CORE INTEGRATION: 'Core Services in the Architecture of the National Digital Library for Science Education (NSDL)' emphasizes library architectural components scheduled for early implementation. Scope and function-model components, plus discussion about the challenges of systematically integrating the broad array of services envisioned eventually for inclusion in NSDL are discussed in 'Components of an NSDL Architecture: Technical Scope and Functional Model.'Download these papers: *C. Lagoze, W. Arms, S. Gan, D. Hillmann, C. Ingram, D. Krafft, R. Marisa, J. Phipps, J. Saylor, C. Terrizzi, W. Hoehn, D. Millman, J. Allan, S. Guzman-Lara, and T. Kalt, 'Core Services in the Architecture of the National Digital Library for Science Education (NSDL),', arXiv Report cs.DL/0201025, January 29 2002.*D. Fulker and G. Janee, 'Components of an NSDL Architecture: Technical Scope and Functional Model,', arXiv Report cs.DL/0210027, January 2002.*These papers, plus [A Spectrum of Interoperability] in the January issue of D-Lib Magazine, characterize architecture specification as a work in progress, intended eventually to reflect feedback from outside the CI team. *FROM ILUMINA: 'Creating Virtual Collections in Digital Libraries: Benefits and Implementation Issues' Explicitly defining virtual collections in a digital library can benefit both users and contributors. This paper outlines the costs and benefits for defining virtual collections and describes an implementation of collection-level metadata in two digital libraries. Our work suggests that component repositories of NSDL would profit by describing their collection, and sub-collections, using a schema such as the one we implemented. This would enable NSDL to provide a rich, cross-linked hierarchy of virtual collections. By sharing collection-level, rather than item-level, metadata, collections would provide detailed resource information, presumably keeping most of their viewership, while NSDL would provide a broad description of resources. Download the paper:

NSDL Central Office
February 2002-- *GOVERNANCE An outstanding National Visiting Committee (NVC) for NSDL has been established by the NSF. The first NVC meeting will be held on Feb 5-6 in New York. Briefing papers on overarching NSDL topics--education, architecture, intellectual property rights, sustainability, outreach and marketing, and management--will be presented to the new NVC. NVC member list: *DECEMBER MEETING INFORMATION (attendee lists, PowerPoints?, etc.) may be found at: .Of particular interest may be the summaries of the breakout sessions as compiled by Susan Jesuroga at:

Washington and Lee University Debuts Nuclear Energy Web Site
February 2002-- Come inside the secret world of the Manhattan Project. Track nuclear proliferation country-by-country. Examine the impact of the arms race on espionage and terrorism. Explore the benefits and dangers of America's growing use of nuclear energy. Discover the complexity - or not - of building an atomic bomb. All this is a few clicks away on a Washington and Lee University Web site debuting this month to help students, teachers, policy makers and scientists quickly find accurate and comprehensive information on the nuclear age. The Web site - - is part of the National Science Foundation's National Science Digital Library program designed to create, organize and install high-quality educational resources on the Internet. The Alsos site, created through a $250,000 NSF grant, provides information about a rich array of authoritative and reliable materials drawn from sources worldwide. .

President Proposes $10 Million to Recruit New Librarians
February 2002-- Laura Bush announced a proposed $10 million initiative for 2003 to recruit a new generation of librarians. The initiative will be managed by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). In announcing this initiative Mrs. Bush said, 'In May 2000, Library Journal magazine reported 40 percent of America's library directors plan to retire in 9 years or less. And, according to the July 2000 Monthly Labor Review, in 1998 57 percent of professional librarians were age 45 or older.' For the full press release see:

National Information Standards Organization (NISO) Interoperability Committee
February 2002-- NISO, the National Information Standards Organization, has announced that a new standards committee is now being organized to develop standards that will enable interoperable, networked reference services. Digital reference services are a rapidly growing extension of the traditional 'behind the desk' reference service offered by virtually all libraries. Digital reference, whether delivered via real-time chat or asynchronous e-mail, allows library patrons to submit questions and receive answers via electronic means. A NISO-sponsored Workshop on Networked Digital Reference Services was held April 25-26, 2001 ( to explore potential areas of standardization. Following on this workshop, this new standards committee will explore standards development in the areas of support for networked digital reference and possibly collaborative networked digital reference. They will develop a question processing transaction protocol for interchange of messages between digital reference domains. This will support processing and routing of questions and responses and packaging of other information to be exchanged. They will also build a metadata element set to identify and describe key components of both question and answer data and institutional and personal data. The Networked Reference Services Committee (Standards Committee AZ) will be chaired by Sally H. McCallum? (Library of Congress). McCallum? intends to form the committee into two teams to deal with question processing transaction protocol and networked reference metadata element sets. For additional information contact NISO Headquarters at (301) 654-2512. Email:

Proposal for an NSDL Workshop--Private Digital Libraries and Educational Publishers
February 2002-- Over the next year or two it will be critical for NSDL to begin to integrate proprietary content into its distributed collections, and also to consider possible relationships between NSDL and for-profit libraries. Several of the NSDL projects have begun to forge tentative connections with publishers. However, one practical near-term step for NSDL as a whole would be to convene a workshop on these issues, collecting together current insights, and bringing to the table a number of the publishers with whom individual projects are now working. Read the [proposal]. Subscribe to the [Intellectual Property and Sustainability Workgroup list] or visit the [Intellectual Property and Sustainability Workspace] for more information.

Developing Digital Libraries to Support Research on the Impact of Technology on STEM Learning: A Workshop
February 2002-- The [Math Forum] will hold a workshop from February 21 - 23 at Drexel University to begin to articulate the potential of digital libraries, in general, and the NSDL specifically, for supporting research on the impact of technology on student learning in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. The following issues will be addressed: What do we know about learning in digital library environments? What do we want to know about this learning? What are our opportunities for finding out what we want to do? What do we need to put in place or create to support such research? Research on teaching and learning with technology and research on the use of digital libraries are both areas of research with significant implications for educational policy. These are areas of research in need of further development as well as more communication between those involved in each. Just as research facilities like Brookhaven National Laboratory have had a major impact on our understanding of high energy physics, the NSDL could have a similar and much needed impact on our understanding of how best to use technology in STEM education. Such a vision of a SMETE-Lab would involve not only bringing researchers together to discuss common research issues in studying online learning in STEM education, but also to create a 'lab' where research tools and data sets could be developed and shared among researchers. Further, smaller projects could 'piggyback' onto larger projects in order to get more research value out of the funds invested in research into online STEM learning. Possible outcomes from the workshop include the development of specific research collaborations and proposal ideas, as well as beginning to create a core researcher community. For more information, contact Kristina Lasher at [].

CITI Developers Meeting
February 2002-- The CI Technical Infrastructure (CITI) developers team will meet in San Diego on February 1-2, 2002 following up on a fruitful gathering after the All-Projects meeting. Visit [San Diego Meeting] to see the agenda and pointers to relevant documents describing the NSDL technical infrastructure design.

Invitation to Web-Wise 2002
February 2002-- The Institute of Museum and Library Services' third annual Web-Wise Conference on Libraries and Museums in the Digital World will be held March 20-22, 2002. The conference is co-hosted by Johns Hopkins University's Sheridan Libraries and will be held on the university's campus in Baltimore. This year's theme is 'Building Digital Communities.' The meeting will focus on the social and organizational as well as the technological factors that inhibit or enhance collaboration among those involved in the creation and use of digital resources. Registration is limited in order to facilitate discussion and networking among participants. There is no registration fee; however, participants will be responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses. Please register through the conference Web site at You will need to register early to ensure your place. To reserve a room at the conference hotel at the rate of $169 per day, call 800-468-3571 before February 26 and say that you are attending the Web-Wise 2002 Conference.

Coming soon: The NSDL Scout Reports
February 2002-- The Internet Scout Project is proud to announce a new series of reports funded by the National Science Foundation. Part of the National Science Digital Library Project, these reports will cover the best new and newly discovered resources in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathenatics. They will include resources for nearly everyone -- kids, researchers, life-long learners, and those teaching in K-12 and higher education. For more information: .

Planning for NSDL Evaluation
February 2002-- To continue the momentum from the NSDL All Projects meeting the NSDL Evaluation Workgroup will meet in Washington D.C. Feb 6 - 8. The larger purpose of the Evaluation Workgroup is to develop an evaluation strategy for the distributed NSDL that results in coherent and meaningful information on library building processes, library usage, collections growth and quality, and the usefulness and usability of library services. This strategy should work with distributed portals, libraries, collections and services, as well as with core integration portals. The February meeting will focus on articulating a small pilot evaluation project to be conducted in the spring/summer timeframe. Formulating basic questions and metrics, testing distributed data collection, and helping NSDL Core Integration to better understand how to support and scale distributed data collection/evaluation services could be accomplished. A report on the results from this pilot project might take place at a larger meeting either over the summer, or in the fall focusing on revising, modifying, expanding, and scaling up based on the pilot project. Subscribe to the [Evaluation Workgroup list] or visit the Evaluation [Workspace] for more information.



Digital Library Topics Overview
February 2002-- 'Current Cites' a monthly publication from the UC Berkeley Digital Library.

Top Ten Reasons Why Every Digital Science Collection Builder Should Contribute Catalog Information to the NSDL
February 2002-- Add your ideas!

Journal of Digital Information Special Issue on Metadata
February 2002--'This issue evolved in cooperation with the organizers and the program committee of DC-2001, the International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications held in Tokyo, Japan. Common interests were identified and activities coordinated in an early phase, leading to a large degree of shared peer review for the conference presentations and the JoDI? issue.'

A Model from China
February 2002-- SuperStar? Digital Library is a commerical digital library in China organized and operated like a typical library with digital contents. SSDL has following cooperative partners: University libraries--one of the rewards is that SSDL lists all cooperative libraries on the top of its main page; Publishers--it acquires the digital form of publications from publishes with non-exclusive usage rights. Publishers are paid per number of downloads of their content; Individual authors--agreement is similar to the one for publishers.

Wanted: Proposals for New NSDL Collaborations
February 2002-- The new NSDL program solicitation is now available.

Digital Preservation and Resources like the 'Wayback Machine'
February 2002-- The Wayback Machine, which currently contains over 100 terabytes of data and is growing at a rate of 12 terabytes per month, is a service from the Internet Archive and Alexa Internet. It allows people to access and use archived versions of stored websites. Visitors to the Wayback Machine can type in an URL, select a date, and then begin surfing on an archived version of the web. The Wayback Machine is built so that it can be used and referenced by anybody and everybody.

'Online Communites: Designing Usability, Supporting Sociability'
February 2002-- This book from Wiley Publishers by author Jenny Preece discusses what an online community is and identifies important usability and sociability principles for making online communities successful.

Call for Papers: Research Partnerships Involving K-16
February 2002-- This is the third and final announcement soliciting manuscripts for a theme issue of the Journal of Geoscience Education (JGE) on research partnerships in the geosciences (and more broadly, Earth and planetary sciences) involving researchers, K-16 classrooms, and the general public. Please contact theme issue editors Paul Harnik (Paleontological Research Institution; and Robert Ross (Paleontological Research Institution; for further information and consult the JGE web site for manuscript preparation and submission guidelines.

February 2002-- 'The NSDL T-shirt'--For those who did not receive a t-shirt at the All-Projects Meeting, or who could not find the right size, some additional t-shirts will be available at the end of January in sizes XXL, XL, and L. Contact Rosemary Adessa at
February 2002-- Different from the Scientist?' Commentary by Eugene Garfield, The Scientist 14[6]:4, Mar. 20, 2000
February 2002-- For those following the news on the color of the universe...

Published from 2000 to September 2009, NSDL Whiteboard Report Archives provide access to prior issues of the bi-weekly newsletter published by NSDL. To subscribe to current news and information about NSDL, go to the NSDL Community Network site, register as a user, subscribe to and participate in selected features found there. For more information contact Eileen McIlvain