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

The Whiteboard Report
May 2003, Issue #30



Education Department Proposes Overhaul of ERIC System, Consolidating Databases and Cutting Services
May 2003-- A proposal by the US Department of Education would drastically restructure the Educational Resources Information Center, known as ERIC, by eliminating its 16 clearinghouses and many of their user services, and by altering the content of the center's database. Some education researchers said the proposed changes would hurt the center, which is the world's largest and most frequently used collection of education-related literature and data. A draft of the proposal calls for "greater speed, efficiency, and cost effectiveness" by consolidating the clearinghouses into a single database run by one contractor. The clearinghouses, each of which focuses on a specific subject, like community colleges or rural education, would become "content areas." -- by Will Potter, Chronicle of Higher Education,, April 23, 2003.
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2003 LITA Frederick G. Kilgour Award Winner Announced
May 2003-- Dr. Herbert Van de Sompel of the Los Alamos National Laboratories is the winner of the Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology for 2003. OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., and the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association, sponsor the award. The award was established to honor the achievements of Frederick G. Kilgour, the founder of OCLC and a seminal figure in library automation. The award is given to a person who has amassed a significant body of "real world" research in the field of library and information technology that has had an impact in the way in which information is published, stored, retrieved, disseminated or managed. "The Kilgour Award Committee was delighted to acknowledge the significant work of Dr. Van de Sompel, whose research has contributed significantly to not one, but two major current developments in our field: linking technologies and metadata harvesting." said Larry Woods, chair of the award committee. With Carl Lagoze, Director of Technology NSDL, Cornell Information Science, Herbert led an international effort to devise a protocol by which systems holding descriptive metadata could make that metadata available for "harvesting" and re-use by other information systems. Originally developed to support the building of union catalogs of metadata derived from distributed e-print archives, the protocol has been generalized through work in the larger digital library world as the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting.
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Iraq National Library Reportedly Destroyed
May 2003-- According to reports from Iraq, the country's national library, museum, and archives have been "ransacked and set alight" by looters in the wake of Operation Iraqi Freedom. According to the NEW YORK TIMES, "virtually nothing was left of the library and its tens of thousands of old manuscripts and books, and of archives like Iraqi newspapers tracing the country's turbulent history from the era of Ottoman rule through to Mr. Hussein. Reading rooms and the stacks where the collections were stored were reduced to smoking vistas of blackened rubble." Gailan Ramiz, described by the TIMES as "a Princeton-educated political scientist" at Baghdad University, told reporters that, while he was happy to see Saddam Hussein gone, he believed the United States had "committed an act of irresponsibility" in allowing the nation's historical treasures to be pillaged. Ross Shimmon, secretary general of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), said he will attend an emergency meeting, called by the director general of UNESCO, in Paris on Thursday "to discuss the best ways of responding to the desperate situation arising from the looting and destruction ofcultural property." For more information, see -- Library Journal Academic News Wire, April 15, 2003.

WGBH Teachers Domain Life Science Collection
May 2003-- The WGBH Teachers Domain Life Science collection is now available at The collection currently includes four high school units, The Cell, Genetics, Evolution, and Ecology; two middle school units, Regulation and Behavior, and Structure and Function; and five elementary units, Characteristics of Living Things and Life Cycles (each at K-2 and 3-5 levels) and Organisms and Their Environments (3-5). Two additional middle school units will be available by the end of this summer. Teachers' Domain offers approximately 300 resources from WGBH, a mixture of video and audio clips, still images, documents, and interactive activities. Lesson plans that integrate the resources in the site are available for each unit. Several tools promote easy use of the resources, including one that lets you build your own resource folders and another that lets you search other NSDL collections. Each resource is correlated to national educational standards as well as to the standards of your own state. The collection is currently in queue for harvesting and integration into the NSDL catalog. WGBH has begun production on its Physical Science collection and hopes to have the first units available in the early fall.

May 2003-- CITIDEL, an NSDL collection effort, now has 445,429 item level metadata entries from seven source collections that will contribute to boosting the overall NSDL Catalog size significantly. CITIDEL uses a locally-developed, fast search engine that is available for other groups to use. At a 165MB memory footprint searches still take a fraction of a second. Contact Ed Fox ( for more information.
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Academic Medicine features Health Education Assets Library (HEAL)
May 2003-- In its March 2003 special theme issue on education technology, the journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, Academic Medicine, featured two articles about the Health Education Assets Library (HEAL), an NSDL project. One describes the development of HEAL, including its IMS-compatible metadata schema and n-tiered architecture. The other identifies the barriers that block the free exchange of educational multimedia and the incentives that could be created to overcome educators' concerns. The articles are available at the HEAL website: "Introducing HEAL: The Health Education Assets Library," Acad. Med. 2003; 78: 249-253: "Sharing Digital Teaching Resources: Breaking Down Barriers by Addressing the Concerns of Faculty Members," Acad. Med. 2003; 78: 286-294: For more information about HEAL, contact Sandra McIntyre, program manager, at (310) 267-2873, (
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NSDL K-12 Projects Featured in AASL's Knowledge Quest
May 2003-- The January/February? issue of American Association of School Librarians' journal, Knowledge Quest, is devoted to science education and features NSDL K-12 related projects. Marcia Mardis and Lee Zia wrote the introductory piece with contributed articles from ARTEMIS, The Inquiry Page, AVC, DWEL, The Learning Matrix, AskNSDL, GSDL, and Teachers' Domain. The Web version will be available in the coming weeks at Print copies of the journal can also be requested at this Web site. Copies of articles can be obtained from Marcia Mardis (
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DLESE Developers' Workshop Report
May 2003-- The NSF's Geosciences Directorate sponsored the first Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) Developers' Workshop, hosted by the DLESE Program Center, in Boulder at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) on February 19 and 20, 2003. A report of the workshop is now available as a draft white paper that contains a review of the workshop, provides a synopsis of the projects represented, and includes some understanding of the experiences to date of developing collections or services for DLESE. In addition, the paper highlights some issues and challenges with respect to the future development of the distributed library. The paper is available at
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Gender and Science Digital Library Expands With New Features
May 2003-- The Gender and Science Digital Library (GSDL) recently adopted "Autonomy" as the new engine for its advanced search tool, replacing a Microsoft SQL server and Vignette. This move is aimed at further refining GSDLs search capability. Autonomy offers a full range of search options.

Software Developer, DLESE Program Center
May 2003-- The Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) Program Center, in Boulder Colorado, has an opening for a software developer to join the group developing cataloging and collections management tools for the DLESE community. If you have experience with Java, web services and digital libraries, and would like to work on a community digital library contact Mike Wright ( at the DPC. DLESE:, DLESE Program Center:
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Core Integration: Beyond Initial Release
May 2003-- With the initial NSDL operational systems in place, the Core Integration (CI) team has begun preparing to increase support for NSDL partners who will play front-line roles in providing content, offering services, and reaching educators and learners. In conjunction with several NSDL projects, the CI will develop a fabric for joining and multiplying the impact of all NSDL efforts, focusing on technical infrastructure and community networking. This strategy will enable the NSDL to advance simultaneously on four fronts: 1) collections and services, 2) educational innovation, 3) technical innovation, and 4) partnering. By capitalizing on partners with rich educational connections and traditions, the NSDL emphasis can shift from building the library and its components toward the broader goal of enhancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. In coming months, the CI team also will refine existing system components, including, the search system, the metadata repository, and the communications environment. The look, feel, and functionality of will be enhanced in accordance with usability studies; a new (Lucene-based) search service will address problems that have been identified; metadata harvesting and re-harvesting processes will be automated; news and exhibits will be given higher prominence at to support greater outreach; and a new collaboration environment, integrated into, will replace the current communications portal. The CI team also will work with the community to design or adopt: a uniform user-sign-on framework; a means to characterize relationships among library items, to support annotation and other planned features; a system to automatically gather and classify collections that lack metadata; and an architecture for integrating a broad range of services. -- Dave Fulker, Executive Director, NSDL Core Integration.

New Members of the NSDL National Visiting Committee
May 2003-- The National Science Foundation has recently appointed three new members to the National Visiting Committee. -- THOMAS REEVES is Professor of Instructional Technology at the University of Georgia. His teaching and research emphasize program evaluation, educational research and computer-based education. Professor Reeves took his doctorate at Syracuse University and is past president of the Association for the Development of Computer-based instructional Systems (ADCIS), former Fulbright lecturer, editor of the Journal of Interactive Learning and a founding member of the Learning and Performance Support Lab at the University of Georgia. -- ABBY SMITH is Director of Programs at the Council of Library and Information Resources. She joined CLIR in 1997 in order to develop and manage collaborative activities with library and archival institutions in order to ensure long-term access to our cultural and intellectual heritage. She continues that interest with her involvement in the Library of Congress initiative, the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program. She was trained as an historian of Russia and modern intellectual history and has her doctorate from Harvard. She was at the Library of Congress before going to CLIR.

New Members of the NSDL Policy Committee
May 2003
--KATHERINE HANSON is Director of the Gender & Diversity Institute of the Education Development Center (EDC), Inc., Newton, MA at, and is PI for two NSDL grants: "Gender and Science Digital Library" and "Effective Access: Using Digital Libraries to Enhance High School Teaching in STEM"
To complement the current NSDL PC membership, Katherine brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and understanding about the implications for underrepresented groups of how technology is used in the teaching of science and mathematics, especially at the primary and secondary school level. She designs, teaches, and leads workshops and other professional development training activities that help classroom teachers learn to use technology more effectively for the benefit of all their students and do a better job using technology to best advantage to engage girls and other underrepresented groups in STEM curricula. She is current co-chair of the NSDL Sustainability Standing Committee. For more information about Hanson's work, including listings of selected publications, presentations, and seminars, see her complete resume at
-- WILLIAM H. MISCHO is Head, Grainger Engineering Library Information Center and Professor of Library Administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC). He is PI of the NSDL project "Second Generation Digital Mathematics Resources with Innovative Content for Metadata Harvesting and Courseware Development" (awarded Sept. 2002). He is a Co-PI on the UIUC "Digital Library Testbed Project," the "Open Archives Initiative Metadata Harvesting Project," and a recently awarded Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) integration grant. Mischo will bring to the Policy committee a broad range of experience in library and information science and with digital library projects.
He believes that the NSDL should integrate efforts of publishers and professional societies to make NSDL the place for science education tools and materials. Mischo has published nearly 50 articles in library and information science journals and conference proceedings. In 2001, he received the 2001 Homer I. Bernhardt Distinguished Service Award from the American Society for Engineering Education Engineering Libraries Division. For additional details see:
-- SEBASTIAN UIJTDEHAAGE is the PI on the Health Education Assets Library (HEAL) based at the UCLA School of Medicine. He has received two awards from the NSDL program, initially to develop an IMS-based metadata schema extended to describe health-science educational materials, and currently to develop and grow HEAL's collection of educational materials. The target audience of HEAL includes undergraduate and graduate educators and learners. HEAL contains a large number of educational materials, which explain complex medical subjects (i.e., what happens during a surgery) for the general public.
Sebastian Uijtdehaage believes that the NSDL can provide access to needed educational materials for those who wouldn't otherwise have it. At the same time, he believes NSDL can foster pedagogical transformation, such as increased use of problem-based learning. Please refer to Sebastian Uijtdehaage's c.v. for further details:
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Raising NSDL Awareness with Science and Math Teachers
May 2003-- As part of our efforts to serve the STEM teacher community at all levels, NSDL began building a presence at two of the country's largest professional meetings of K-12 science and math educators. The National Science Teachers Association annual convention was held in Philadelphia March 26-30. Through the generosity of shared booth space with the ESIP Federation, NSDL distributed a variety of promotional materials in the exhibit hall including our new K-12 educators' brochure and the first in our series of NSDL Sampler CD-ROMs: Volume 1- Earth's Atmosphere, which was produced in cooperation with the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse (ENC) and features the Atmospheric Visualization Collection from Argonne National Laboratory. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics held its annual meeting April 9-12 in San Antonio. Again, through our generous colleagues at ENC, NSDL brochures and CDs were distributed in the exhibit hall. At both events, the majority of the teachers, educational service providers, and researchers with whom we talked were previously unfamiliar with NSDL, however they were overwhelmingly positive about the potential of the Library to be a significant resource for teachers and students.

NSDL Profiles
May 2003-- The June issue of the Whiteboard Report will launch a new series of articles intended to celebrate innovation and collaboration within the NSDL community. NSDL Profiles will interview two NSDL-funded projects each month, introducing readers to the rich diversity of ideas, goals, people, and institutions that constitute this joint effort we call the NSDL. DLESE's Mary Marlino and ENC's Kim (Roempler) Lightle agreed to help launch the series. Look for their profiles next month. Stats
May 2003-- This page shows use statistics at current through mid-April. Outreach actvities at NSTA, CHI and other meetings and conferences have peaked interest in this month. January usage spikes were due to national media coveage.
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Call for Papers--5th Annual Raytheon Scientific Data Centers Symposium
May 2003-- The Raytheon Corporation will sponsor the "Marriage of Data Centers and High Performance Computing"on May 28-30, 2003 at the University of Maryland Conference Center in College Park, Maryland, USA The overall purpose of this symposium is to bring together a broad group of predominantly Space and Earth science data centers and data management facilities to share visions, approaches, technologies, procedures,and practices for improving the services we offer to researchers, policy and decision makers, educational institutions, and the general public. The Abstract and Registration deadline is May 1, 2003. Proposed speakers may submit abstracts for either poster or oral sessions on topics related to science data centers. Further information on the conference as well as contact information and on-line registration is available through our Web site at:
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Building a Meaningful Web: From Traditional Knowledge Organization Systems to New Semantic Tools
May 2003-- The Networked Knowledge Organization Systems/Sources? (NKOS) Working Group will hold its annual workshop on May 31 in conjunction with the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL) at Rice University in Houston, TX. This year's workshop focuses on the transformation of traditional controlled vocabulary approaches, such as authority lists and thesauri, to new forms of knowledge representation such as ontologies, topic maps, and semantic web components, where relationships between concepts are richer and more extensive and the requirements of computer processing are met. The session will include discussion of the contribution of best practices from more traditional approaches to the design of new knowledge organization systems. More detail about the program is available at the NKOS web site at Registration is available at Discounts are available for IEEE, ACM and ASIST members.
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NSDL Evaluation Workshop Planning Committee
May 2003-- Based on requests from both the Educational Impact and Evaluation Committee and the attendees of the last NSDL Annual Meeting, the CI and the Educational Impact and Evaluation Committee will be sponsoring an Evaluation Workshop for the NSDL community sometime early next fall. We are putting together a planning committee for the workshop, with the intent that we will have a face-to-face planning meeting in Boulder sometime in the next two months. If you are interested in becoming a member of the planningcommittee, will you please resond to Mary Marlino at support is available for your participation in this activity. Looking forward to working with you on this important event for the NSDLcommunity.--Mary Marlino, Director, DLESE Program Center (DPC), Tammy Sumner, Chair, Educational Impact and Evaluation Committee

NSDL Technology Standing Committee at JCDL
May 2003-- For those attending JCDL 2003 in Houston next month (, the NSDL Technology Standing Committee will be meeting 4:30 - 6:00 PM on Tuesday May 27 (room to be announced). All interested from the NSDL community who will be in Houston for JCDL are encouraged to attend as schedule allows. A preliminary agenda for the meeting is given below. Agenda will be maintained on the Technology SC Website ( and updated between now and May 27 as warranted. Post suggestions for additional meeting agenda items to the Technology SC email list. After the meeting, minutes will be linked from the Technology SC events page and will be posted to the Technology SC email list. For those interested in the work of the Technology SC but who aren't planning to be in Houston for JCDL or otherwise can't attend this meeting, I would encourage you to join the Technology SC email list ( This list has been quiescent for several months, but hopefully will become a little more active in lead up to our meeting in Houston, and then also over the summer as the Committee works on the NSDL Technology Inventory and other tasks as identified doing our meeting in Houston. Contact Tim Cole (, Vice Chair, University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign if you are planning to attend.
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NSDL Community and Service Standing Committee at JCDL
May 2003-- The NSDL Community & Service Standing Committee will convene at JCDL on May 30th from 11:00 AM - 12:00 noon. The meeting will be held in the Hilton Houston Plaza, 6633 Travis Street Houston, in the Southgate A conference room. The agenda for the meeting is as follows: 1. Acquainting and acquainting 2. Subcommittee reports and other updates 3. Agenda-setting for the coming year ---Needed subcommittees ---Non-subcommittee activities 4. Agenda items suggested by participants If you are planning to attend please feel free to send Marcia Mardis (, CSSC Chairperson, agenda items for discussion.

Policy and Standing Committee Meetings at the JCDL Schedule
May 2003--Early JCDL registration was extended until May 2 so you still have time to register and save a bit. To Find out more about the following meetings at JCDL visit NSDL Standing Committee web sites at --Evaluation SC, Tue 27 May 3:00-6:00 Travis A --Technology SC, Tue 27 May 4:30-6:00 Travis B --Sustainability SC, Thu 29 May 8:00-9:00 Southgate A --Policy Committee, Thu 29 May 5:00-9:00 Travis A (dinner) --Policy Committee, Fri 30 May 8:00-4:00 Travis A (breakfast,lunch) --Community Service SC, Fri 30 May 11:00-noon Southgate A
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ERIC Needs Friends
May 2003-- Stand up for the Department of Education's ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center)and the vital services it provides: cataloging and archiving abstracts, papers, and other scholarly works, and providing free access to these materials (see lead news story above). A personal letter, or a letter from associations to your congressional representatives and the Secretary of Education would be helpful before May 9. Faxes on letterhead are considered most effective. Don't let this resource die! Your State's Senators: Your Congressional Representative:
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Find Your Way With the Metamap
May 2003-- The MetaMap is a pedagogical tool in the form of a subway map, the goal of which is to help people understand metadata standards, sets, and initiatives related to information studies. With the exponential development of the World Wide Web, there are so many metadata initiatives, so many organizations involved, and so many new standards that it's hard to get our bearings in this new environment. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the names of most of these new standards are represented by acronyms. The MetaMap exists to help gather in one place information about these metadata initiatives, to try to show relationships among them, and to connect them with the various players involved in their creation and use.
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How to Succeed in College
May 2003-- A Report from the Center for Educational Policy Research outlines what college freshmen need to know to succeed academically is being sent to every high school in the country, to try to better align the curriculums of high schools and colleges. The the report was developed from a series of meetings among 400 faculty members from 20 leading research universities.
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Atlas of Science Literacy
May 2003-- "A collection of conceptual strand maps for nearly 50 key topics in science, mathematics, and technology that display the connections among key ideas and skills and the sequence in which students might develop their understanding of topics such as gravity, natural selection, and statistical reasoning from kindergarten through grade 12."
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AACE Digital Library
May 2003-- The AACE Digital Library is a valuable online resource of peer-reviewed and published international journal articles and proceedings papers on the latest research, developments, and applications related to all aspects of Educational Technology and E-Learning sponsored by The Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
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K-12 Teaching and Learning
May 2003-- "WCET is hosting the launch of a national K-12 online teaching and learning organization. The mission of the North American Council for Online Learning is to increase educational opportunities and enhance learning by providing collegial expertise and leadership in K-12 online teaching and learning..."
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Dublin Core Metadata Element Set Standard Approved
May 2003-- 2003-04-08, The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative Directorate is pleased to report that the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set standard has been approved. The final text of the ISO 15836 standard and the balloting report, including the response to comments, on the SC4 document log on the ISO TC46/SC4 website can be viewed at the above address. This approval is a welcome culmination of an incremental process to bring the Dublin Core metadata element set to a broad world-wide constituency. This process has involved CEN in Europe and NISO in the US. As an international standard, it will be easier for many organizations to adopt and promote the use of Dublin Core to enhance resource discovery using the Internet. More info: --DCMI News, April 8, 2003
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First Monday, April 2003
May 2003-- Clustering and dependencies in free/open source software development: Methodology and tools;Consumers on the Web: Identification of usage patterns by Nina Koiso-Kanttila; The impact of cybercafes on information services in Uganda, and Managing Internet gambling in the workplace.
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May 2003 Inspiration
May 2003-- Join other citizen scientists in observing and recording springtime bird activity in your neck of the woods at "ebird." Sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Audubon Society.
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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