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

The Whiteboard Report
April 2002, Issue #17



Digital Gazetteers: Integration into Distributed Digital Library Services
April 2002-- A 'Digital Gazetteers' workshop will be held in conjunction with the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL) on July 18th in Portland, Oregon. A workshop description is available at This workshop continues a series of Networked Knowledge and Organization Systems/Services? (NKOS) workshops held at Digital Library meetings. This is the fifth in a series focusing on work-in-progress on gazetteer services and gazetteer-related projects in connection with distributed digital librarys Digital gazetteers are specialized knowledge organization systems (KOS) that map placenames and types of places to map-based locations and thus integrate word-based georeferencing to map-based georeferencing. Developers and implementers in these areas are encouraged to attend, as well as those who are interested in potential applications of gazetteers and thesauri in digital libraries. Proposals are being solicited for presentations at the workshop (see the preliminary agenda on the web site). Please send an abstract of what you would like to present to []. Details about how to register for the workshop will be announced.

Boomers Fuel Growth of Adult Education
April 2002-- Adult education programs report a significant rise in enrollment, thanks to baby boomers. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics and the Census Bureau, the number of U.S. college and university students over the age of 35 has increased from 11.7 percent of those enrolled in 1980 to 20.8 percent in 2001. This surge has been most visible in professional degree programs, but unconventional study tracks have also witnessed a rise in enrollment. Greater opportunities for career advancement and the availability of online educational options are widely credited for re-energizing interest in higher education among older adults.--CASE Flashpoints, Vol. 7 No. 3, March 15, 2002

The NSDL Policy Committee Drafts Plan for Standing Committees
April 2002-- After holding four teleconferences, the NSDL Policy Committee (PC) met in person on March 17-18, 2002 in Chicago. At that meeting, in addition to other decisions, the PC agreed on a set of Standing Committees. Though more committees may be added later, the PC felt that the initial five are of crucial importance, and should be established immediately. In almost all cases, these committees can build upon a firm foundation resulting from the wonderful work carried out during the past years, in connection with projects, working groups, workshops, and other activities. We encourage comments and discussion of 'Policy Committee Draft Plan of March 2002 for Standing Committees' outlined on the Policy Committee wiki at We hope that all engaged in working groups, and others interested in supporting integrated NSDL activities, will fully support the new committees and contribute to their success. -- Ed Fox [], Chair, Policy Committee.

Face Time
April 2002-- CI technical developers, the Syracuse Virtual Reference Team, and Bill Nye 'The Science Guy' spent the afternoon together at Cornell University on Dec. 12 discussing 'Putting a Face on the NSDL.' Phoebe Sengers, Assistant Professor of Information Science and Technology Studies, led off discussions with a short presentation about the promise and pitfalls of current 'mascot-avatar-agent' technology that could make a digital library interface more accessible for young people. The following principles for a service that might put a representative personality in the NSDL interface were discussed: Any cyber librarian, mascot, avatar or agent should be linked to an expert knowledge base. There should be a human-mediated component to the service The service should provide basic "homework help" for students. The service should lead students through a "discovery" process. You may send a message to the 'Putting a Face on the NSDL' meeting list at: []. You may add yourself to this list at

Fulker Announces CI Directors
April 2002-- Dave Fulker, executive director of NSDL Core Integration (CI), has announced the team of Core Integration directors who will have operational responsibility in five areas: Acquisition and Integration - Susan Jesuroga [], Educational Outreach and Evaluation - Kaye Howe [], Library Service and Operation - Diane Hillman [], Publisher Relations - Kate Wittenberg [], Technical Framework - Carl Lagoze []. These directors, working with the Policy Committee and its standing committees, as well as the larger community, will help give focus and continuity to the burgeoning development of NSDL.

Small World, Broad Treaty: World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty
April 2002-- For librarians already concerned with the domestic challenges offered by the broadly written Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), those concerns are now poised to go global. On March 6th, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaty on Copyright Terms (WCT) will go into effect, updating for the digital world the international copyright policies adopted under the Berne Convention. Officials at WIPO say the WCT provides a The treaty is similar to the DMCA, including one aspect of the new policy that will surely draw the attention of librarians and copyright experts in the U.S.-- an 'anti-circumvention' provision. Like section 1201 of the DMCA, the WCT specifically prohibits 'the deliberate alteration or deletion of electronic rights management information.' The WIPO treaty, considered by many to be the driving force behind the adoption of the DMCA in 1998, was adopted in 1996, and ratified in December of 2001, after 30 members of WIPO, including the US, officially adopted the treaty. 'While we have reached the key number of 30 countries required for entry into force, I urge all other countries to follow suit and to incorporate the provisions of the WCT,' said WIPO director general Kamil Idris in a statement. 'This will create the conditions necessary for the broad-based and legitimate distribution of creative works and recordings on the Internet.' Ironically, just as the WCT is set to kick in, the DMCA is now under heavy fire from critics in the United States. On April 1, a California court will hear a motion from attorneys representing ElComSoft?, the Russian employer of programmer Dmitry Sklyarov, arrested in the US and accused of circumventing encryption controls in Adobe e-books, arguing that the DMCA is unconstitutional (see LJ Academic Newswire 2/19/02). Last month, Virginia congressman Rick Boucher penned an editorial on the online C-NET saying that the DMCA needs to be rewritten. 'In the three years since [the DMCA] was enacted,' wrote Boucher, 'we have not seen [an increase in] digital content. Instead, we have seen a rash of lawsuits; the imprisonment by US authorities of a Russian computer programmer who had come to the United States to give a technical talk; and, more recently, the release of compact discs into the market that cannot be played in computers or even some CD players.'-- Library Journal Academic Newswire, March 5, 2002.

NSDL Program Solicitation Reminder
April 2002-- Full proposal deadlines are due on April 17, 2002. Program requirements are online at:

From the Institute of Museum and Library Services: A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collection
April 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.-- [Current Cites] Vol. 13, No. 2.

On Friday March 29 the EST Communication Portal Upgrade
April 2002-- On Friday March 29 beginning at 2:00 p.m. EST the Communication Portal at will be upgraded to version 3.02. Services may be down for 4-6 hours. On Monday morning, April 1, users will notice improved document management features and a different look. Functional statistics and graphical analysis of Communication Portal activity will be available from the main page.

Portal Technology Selected
April 2002-- The CI Team has selected uPortal as the framework for the initial NSDL Main Portal for release in December 2002. UPortal is a free, open-source, portal framework being collaboratively developed by a group of higher-education institutions. The added stability of uPortal 2.0 will support the initial release of the NSDL later this year. Read the announcment:

As Web Publishing Grows, National Libraries Struggle to Archive Nation's Web Sites
April 2002-- The fleeting nature of web publications is a particularly vexing problem for libraries and academic institutions. Following the success of six month pilot project, the British Library has begun an ambitious project to archive the country's web sites. Officials at the British Library are cautiously touting the project as the beginning of the end of the web's archival nightmare. The British Library has reportedly submitted a proposal seeking 600,000 to archive as many as 10,000 web sites, and to produce an annual snapshot of links to all web sites that end in .uk. Print publishers, note library officials, are required by law to deposit copies at the British Library and other deposit libraries, but web sites are currently exempt, and many publications tend to disappear as quickly as they arrive. Library officials say the archive could be instrumental to future historians and academic researchers. Indeed, according to one study done by Cornell University librarians and published in JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR INFORMATION SCIENCE (JASIS), last year, after four years, the URL reference cited in a term paper stood an 80 percent chance of no longer existing. Further, URL references stood more than a 50 percent chance of not existing after only six months (see LJ Academic Newswire 12/21/00). In response, lawmakers are considering whether to compel web publishers to file their publications with the national library. New Zealand lawmakers for example recently introduced such a bill, stipulating that anyone publishing material electronically in that country provide a copy to the National Library. 'Increasingly, information is being published only electronically and for a short time, such as on web sites,' said Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbes, who is responsible for the National Library. 'This material is just as important in recording New Zealand's heritage.' Publishers, however, were quick to criticize the practicality of the bill. 'The bill presupposes that content is constant in the same way that a newspaper is,' Stephen Smith, managing director of Television New Zealand, told THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD. Meanwhile, other legislative attempts are underway in several countries -- including France, Sweden, and Finland -- to capture information that is published electronically.-- Library Journal Academic News Wire: March 21, 2002.

NSDL Pilot Evaluation Project Set to Begin April 1
April 2002-- The planned data collections instruments for the NSDL pilot evaluation in two areas--usage data and collections--were developed using notes from the Evaluation Meeting in February and subsequent online community comments and discussions by Evaluation Workgroup chair Tammy Sumner. The following NSF-NSDL-funded projects will participate in the study:The Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE), Earth Science Information Partners, Math Forum, the NSDL Communication Portal, iLumina, and NEEDS: A Digital Library for Engineering Education.

Save the Date for 'All-Projects 3'
April 2002-- The Third Annual All-Projects Meeting will be in Washington D.C., December 2-5, 2002. The regular meeting will open at 6 p.m. on December 2 with a poster session and reception, and will continue through 4 p.m. on December 4. The morning of December 5 will be devoted to meetings of the Policy Committee, Standing Committees, Nominating Committee, and other governance groups. Jeanne Narum of PKAL [] and Susan Jesuroga of Core Integration [] are co-chairs of the event.

Science Direct, Harcourt Pacing Reed Elsevier
April 2002-- There was fierce opposition in the library community last year to Reed Elsevier's acquisition of Harcourt General, saying the move would further concentrate publishing power under one giant corporate umbrella, diminishing the bargaining power of customers. While the jury is still out on how the deal is affecting library budgets, early returns for Reed Elsevier shareholders are clearly positive. Nearly a year after completion of the deal, analysts say Reed Elsevier shareholders are indeed reaping the financial benefits of the deal. Although not yet fully integrated, the Anglo-Dutch publisher reports that Harcourt, for which Reed Elsevier paid more than $4 billion, saw revenues jump a healthy 12 percent to $545.7 million, accounting for 12 percent of Reed Elsevier's 2001 revenue. Meanwhile ScienceDirect?, Reed Elsevier's online journal publishing operation also reported whopping growth in 2001. The company reported that ScienceDirect? page views doubled in 2001 to 220 million, with revenues in Reed Elsevier's Science and Medical division up by a staggering 44 percent, and operating profits up a hefty 34 percent. --Library Journal Academic News Wire: March 21, 2002.

Call to all NSDL-funded Projects to Participate in Intellectual Property Issues Policy Development
April 2002-- To help inform and facilitate the development of models for intellectual property rights management, the Core Integration team is inviting your questions, issues, and concerns regarding Intellectual Property (IP) issues facing your collections and services with regards to successful integration into the NSDL. We have set up an online IP forum to accept your input. To post your questions on the IP forum (and read what others have posted) please visit: After reading your input, we will post a basic Frequently Asked Questions page based on questions that have been submitted, and we will also use your concerns to inform IP policy development and support the Policy Committee. We would like your first round of input by April 26 so that we can get the first FAQ up in a timely manner. Thank you for your help in framing the issues for this important topic.-- Kate Wittenberg and Dave Fulker.



April 2002-- Eisenhower National Clearinglhouse's (ENC) daily news includes education headlines highlighting K-12 math, science, and technology with links to general science, math, and technology stories.

Subscribe to the Library Journal Academic Newswire
April 2002-- Fill out the form and to find out about key academic library news initiatives.

'Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act'
April 2002-- --text of the bill,1283,51245,00.html -- 'Anti-Copy Bill Hits DC,' by Declan This act, requiring every piece of hardware or software in this country to include 'standard security technologies' to prevent potential reproduction of copyrighted works in digital form would have severe negative consequences for the entire information technology industry and a wide range of businesses, educational institutions, and individuals that make use of that technology in their work and education. It would have particularly negative effects for those involved in software development and the research and teaching of computer software and hardware technologies.

Cold Science
April 2002-- The Oregon State University libraries special collections last week released digitized versions of 46 research notebooks belonging to two-time Nobel laureate Linus Pauling. OSU officials say Pauling, like many scientists, utilized bound notebooks to record the details of his research as it unfolded, and the ambitious online collection contains more than 7500 pages of Pauling's laboratory calculations and experimental data, as well as scientific conclusions, ideas for further research, and numerous autobiographical musings. Pauling biographer Tom Hager, author of FORCE OF NATURE: THE LIFE OF LINUS PAULING called the OSU collection a 'unique window on scientific history,"" and praised the library's effort, calling it a great boon for scientists, historians, teachers, and students.' OSU also houses the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers an archive of over 500,000 items donated by Pauling in 1986. Pauling died in 1994. One of the great scientists of the 20th century, Pauling was born in Portland, Oregon and received his undergraduate education at Oregon Agricultural College, now known as Oregon State.

April 2002-- About a paper describing a search engine that only looks at a page's links from Nature. '... The new search ignores a page's text, looking only at its links. It crawls from a starting page to others it links to, and so on out into the web, picking out islands of expertise in the sea of information.'
April 2002-- The above referenced paper: Self-Organization and Identification of Web Communities Gary Flake, Steve Lawrence, C. Lee Giles, Frans Coetzee March 6, 2002: New NEC web study released in the journal IEEE Computer, 35:3, March 2002
April 2002-- The argument for 'un-branding'.

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