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

The Whiteboard Report
June 2002, Issue #19



National Information Standards Organization and Book Industry Study Group at American Library Association Annual Conference
June 2002-- [NISO] and [BISG,] the Book Industry Study Group, will present a joint program at the [American Library Association Annual Conference] in Atlanta titled, 'Identifiers: What's new, What's Changing!' on Sunday, June 16th, 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. at the Wyndham Atlanta Hotel, Olympic Room A/B. This program will focus on the ISBN, the DOI, and the ISTC, three leading identifiers that support resource management on a broad scale. Identifiers are strings that uniquely name objects independent of their location and remain valid over long periods of time. 'Identifiers are important in both the print and digital environments,' said Priscilla Caplan, chair of the NISO Standards Development Committee, who will moderate the panel discussion. 'This program will give us anopportunity to examine the identifiers now in use and consider how best to identify things at levels that are not handled well now.' The National Information Standards Organization NISO is the only U.S. group accredited by the American National Standards Institute to develop and promote technical standards for use in information delivery services providing voluntary standards for libraries, publishers and related information technology organizations. For additional information contact NISO Headquarters at (301) 654-2512. Email: []. Information Institute.

NSDL at American Society for Engineering Education Conference
June 2002-- [The American Society for Engineering Education's] (ASEE) annual conference will be held June 16-19 in Montreal. A panel session on Wednesday, June 19 at 2:30 p.m. moderated by John Saylor, NSDL Cornell, will feature Lee Zia, NSF NSDL Program Director, Terrence Smith, The Alexandria Digital Library Project, and Muniram Budhu, The Geotechnical, Rock, and Water Resources Engineering (GROW) Project. They will discuss The National Science Digital Library with this gathering of engineering educators and librarians.

NSDL Library Architecture Overview
June 2002-- [The Core Integration News Workspace] now provides one-stop shopping for information about the technical design of the Library. Current features include an overview of Library architecture as well as functional requirements and design documentation.

'Court Overturns Law Mandating Internet Filters for Public Libraries
June 2002-- A federal court panel struck down a law requiring libraries to filter the Internet for material harmful to minors yesterday, saying that the technology blocks so much unobjectionable material that it would violate the First Amendment rights of library patrons.' -- John Schwartz, New York TImes, June 1, 2002

Coming soon: Diversity and Accessibility Workspace at NSDL Communication Portal
June 2002-- A new Workspace will soon be added to the NSDL [Communication Portal] aimed at addressing digital library design and usage issues relating to diversity and accessibility. It will be moderated by [Sarita Nair], Project Director for the [Gender & Science Digital Library] [Rachael Bower], Project Director of the [Internet Scout Project,] and [Edward Almasy], Technical Director of the Internet Scout Project. The new workspace will feature in-depth information, research, resource links, and technical considerations on how to develop and design collections that accommodate for users in all their diversities--gender, race, ethnicity, disability, language and learning style. The earlier diversity and accessibility is considered in the development of a digital library, the greater the ease and effectiveness with which solutions can be implemented. In some cases, making the right choices at the outset of development can make the individual collection or service fully accessible with virtually no additional effort. The more effectively these issues can be addressed, the more likely a digital library will be to attract the largest number and most diverse population of users. The effectiveness of this new workspace will be dependent on active participation by all NSDL collections--contributions are greatly encouraged!

Steal This Idea, Please: Online Copyright Application Offers Public Domain Option
June 2002-- In the digital age, contract law is being used with frequency to subvert tenets of copyright law, such as with restrictive click-on licenses. But according to a new initiative, which counts Stanford University law professor and author Lawrence Lessig among its backers, that idea can also be used to help the public. The Creative Commons, formed by a coalition of academics, is currently developing tools to make some or all creators' works available to the public for free. The non-profit organization says it aims to 'lower the legal barriers to creativity' by allowing creators to immediately share aspects of their copyrighted works with the public. The organization was founded in 2001 with support from the Center for the Public Domain. It now is based at and receives support from the Stanford Law School. Lessig, an intellectual property professor at Stanford, will chair the effort for the next three years. The initiative hopes to offer a web-based application providing access to works for copying or redistribution. Creators may also offer their work to the public domain. A long-term goal is the creation of an 'intellectual property conservancy,' where creators can contribute public-domain material in exchange for a tax write-off. Creative Commons is now soliciting materials for its prototype application, which it expects to launch this fall, as well as inviting feedback on the application and its mission. When launched, organizers say users will be able to search for digital and physical materials, with participating copyright holders able to set conditions for allowing royalty-free use innoncommercial settings. Creative Commons will add authors' intentions as metadata. For more information, visit: [] -- Library Journal Academic Newswire (TM) May 28, 2002.

Gates Foundation to Support 'Continuous Online Collaboration and Learning'
June 2002-- On May 2, 2002 The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded the Online Computer Library Center ([OCLC]) in Dublin, Ohio a three-year, $9 million grant to build a Web-based, public access computing portal for public libraries and other organizations that provide open access to information. The new portal will build on the foundation's five-year-old U.S. Library Program, which is providing computers with Internet access to more than 10,000 libraries across the United States. Press release:

Developing a Specialized Library Portal for 'Using Data in the Classroom'
June 2002-- Please contribute links that support the effective use of data in the classroom and resources that relate to discussion taking place in [the workspace list.] Visit the [Using Data in the Classroom web site] to contribute a resource.

Gender & Science Digital Library presents at WEPAN 2002 Conference
June 2002-- The Gender & Science Digital Library (GSDL) from the Gender & Diversities Institute at Education Development Center, Inc., will be presenting a panel discussion at the Women In Engineering Programs and Advocates Network (WEPAN) National Conference in Puerto Rico, June 8 ?11 The GSDL is a global and cross-disciplinary resource of interactive gender and science resources for K-12, higher education, women?s studies, teacher preparation programs, and informal learning environments. Katherine Hanson, Principal Investigator for the GSDL and Director of the Gender & Diversities Institute, and Sarita Nair, Project Director for the GSDL, will present a session entitled ?It?s in the Air: Building a Cyber Resource on Gender and the Sciences? aimed at exploring the challenges for women in engineering and the sciences as they relate to all diversities ? gender, race, ethnicity, language, learning style, and disability. Participants will experiment with the GSDL design prototype and help to further define how the GSDL can be of use to professional women and WEPAN in its efforts to increase involvement of women in the sciences and engineering. For more information on the panel, please visit

Information Institute of Syracuse to Sponsor Digital Reference Research Symposium
June 2002-- The Information Institute of Syracuse (IIS) at Syracuse University in conjunction with the National Library of Canada, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), and Harvard University will be sponsoring the Digital Reference Research Symposium at Harvard University on August 1-3, 2002 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The goal of this two-day invitation only symposium is to create a research agenda in digital reference that bridges the areas of digital reference, library practice, and digital libraries. Researchers and educators in digital reference, information science and digital libraries will convene to debate and discuss a variety of issues. Topics scheduled for presentation include: ?Question Negotiation in an Electronic Environment, ?Impact and Opportunity of Digital Reference in Primary & Secondary Education, ?Standards, Systems and Software for Digital Reference, ?Fit of Digital Reference into the Digital Library Arena, ?Education for Digital Reference Services, and ?Policies for Digital Reference For more information about the Digital Reference Research Symposium, visit or contact Anna Maria Lankes at [].

'Accelerating Access, Collaboration, and Dissemination'
June 2002-- The International Association for Social Science Information Service and Technology [IASSIST] invites you to attend its [28th annual conference] hosted by the Roper Center, the Thomas J. Dodd Center, and the Homer Babbidge Library at the University of Connecticut June 11-15, 2002. IASSIST conferences bring together data professionals, data producers and data analysts from around the world who are engaged in the creation, acquisition, processing, maintenance, distribution, preservation, and use of numeric social science data for research and instruction. 'Accelerating Access' is a theme that characterizes the ever-increasing demand for quantitative and qualitative data through the Internet. Our key goal as data providers is to ensure user communities can gain access to and effectively use quantitative and qualitative resources. The conference this year will focus on the capabilities both of Internet technology and of the wider data community in providing support to and partnering with the research and education infrastructure.

'Academic Approaches To Technology: Content, Collaboration, Collections and Community'
June 2002-- The MERLOT Project's Second Annual International Conference will be hosted by the University System of Georgia and will be held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, September 27--30, 2002. The NSDL community is invited to join in an exploration of digital libraries and learning around the conference theme: 'Academic Approaches To Technology: Content, Collaboration, Collections and Community.' Individuals are not required to be affiliated with a MERLOT institution to attend. For more information about the MERLOT International Conference go to [conference] or contact Flora McMartin? at [].

The Information Institute of Syracuse 'AskA?' Scientist or Engineer Service Featured at NSF's 'Global Science & Technology Week'
June 2002-- The National Science Foundation sponsored [Global Science & Technology Week] from April 28- May 4, 2002. The Syracuse Virtual Reference Desk project team from the Information Institute at Syracuse University combined their Incubator software and digital reference expertise to run a one-week 'Aska' Scientist or Engineer project as part of this event. Over 100 volunteer scientists, engineers, and science educators answered nearly 600 questions submitted by K-16 students. A project summary can be found at The Incubator-driven web site used for this activity, including the archived questions and answers and Web resources, is located at More information about Incubator version 1.0 is available at Version 2.0 of the Incubator software, which will be used by the NSDL help desk, is scheduled for release this fall.

Core Integration Executive Group Report
June 2002-- The seven member CI Executive Group had its first meeting at Columbia University on May 17, 2002. The Executive Group, which will have face-to-face quarterly meetings as well as weekly conference calls, manages the six operational areas of NSDL: Central Office; Educational Services; Library Services and Operations; Project Relations; Publisher Relations; Technology Design and Development. Discussion focused on the initial roll-out of The National Science Digital Library at the All-Projects Meeting scheduled for December 3-5, 2002. The roll-out will be a major community event, an introduction to the overall vision of NSDL, and the first step toward that vision for a larger audience of potential users, contributors, and partners. The CI Executive Group will work with NSF, the Policy Committee, the National Visiting Committee and others to assure that the first glimpse of The National Science Digital Library reflects the national educational mission of NSDL. [Click here] for CI Executive Group contact information.

Subscribe to The Tech Explainer Edition of Whiteboard Report
June 2002-- The Tech Explainer Edition of Whiteboard Report is a new online monthly update aimed at briefly explaining key aspects of the emerging National Science Digital Library technical system for NSDL enthusiasts in non-technical language. The Tech Explainer is published as a service to the NSDL community by NSDL Core Integration in addtion to the regular monthly edition of the Whiteboard Report. To receive The Tech Explainer Edition of Whiteboard Report each month PLEASE SUBSCRIBE HERE: You will not receive The Tech Explainer via email until/unless you subscribe to this list above. CP HOT TIP OF THE MONTH: Use the Communication Portal as a 'back-end' for a remote web site. Register at the CP and ask for a new Workspace that you will administer. Give your Workspace a name that is related to the name of your web site. Create a web site on a remote server and use your CP Workspace functionality to create, administer, and archive lists for your new site. You could also decide to establish interactive web editing spaces (Wikis) for your web site community by linking to CP Wiki urls, and linking to downloadable documents stored in your Workspace from a remote web site.



UCSD Researchers with High-tech Marvels Put Ocean Floor on Map
June 2002-- Article by Bruce Liberman about the recent voyage of The Melville, a research vessel based at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in the San Diego Union Tribune, June 2, 2002.

Digital Asset Management
June 2002-- California Polytechnic State University's Communication Department at San Luis Obispo is using Cumulus to manage digital graphics assets.

Everything Digital
June 2002-- First Monday is a peer-reviewed journal on the Internet that features thought-provoking articles on a variety of issues relevant to collection builders from imaging practices to building digital communities. You may subscribe to the mailing list at

Information News Source
June 2002-- Virtual Aquistion Shelf and News Desk, 'Resources and News for Information Professionals.'

June 2002-- The METAe (Metadata Engine) project comprises 14 partners from seven European countries and the U.S. coordinated by the University of Innsbruck. Goals include working towards creating an application software for automatic recognition and extraction of metadata from printed material, designing an open source library for a simple web-application for presenting digital images, providing an OCR-engine for the recognition of seldom type faces used European printing history, and offering an XML/SGML search engine.
June 2002-- The Sloan Digital Sky Survey project is making a map of the entire universe. Take a look at the some of the tools, processes, and data involved in building the biggest map in the history of the world.
June 2002-- Undergraduate student engineering teams pioneer integrated test bed systems for cyber soccer-playing robots on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence and robotics research.

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