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

The Whiteboard Report
June 2003, Issue #31



PLoS Set to Debut Its Publishing Venture
June 2003--The Public Library of Science (PLoS), the nonprofit organization of scientists aiming to make scientific research a public resource, announced this week that it has established its publishing venture and will publish its first open-access journal, PLoS BIOLOGY, in October 2003. PLoS officials say all journals in its publishing venture will be "governed and operated" by scientists, with all articles peer reviewed, available immediately online, and with no charge for access and no restrictions on subsequent redistribution or use. Paper copies of the journals, however, will follow a traditional subscription model. However, PLoS officials say that prices for subscriptions will be as "close to cost for printing and mailing as possible." For 2004, the subscription price of PLoS BIOLOGY will be $160 per year, including shipping, for the United States and the rest of the world. The subscription will include all 12 issues published in 2004 as well as the three monthly issues that are scheduled to appear in 2003. PLoS began accepting manuscript submissions for PLoS BIOLOGY on May 1, 2003. The venture was born in 2002 when PLoS received initial funding for its journals through a $9 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Indeed librarians--and publishers--will be watching the PLoS publishing venture carefully. Although the PLoS's initially failed in its revolutionary bid to change the business practices of scientific publishers through a boycott (see LJ Academic Newswire 12/19/02), its evolutionary publishing endeavors could provide a successful model for future STM publishing. So what are the greatest challenges facing PLoS publishing efforts? "Winning leading authors by offering a prestigious publishing outlet is always the number one challenge," Rick Johnson, SPARC enterprise director told the LJ Academic Newswire in December, after the PLoS announced it had received funding. "Execution of the business plan is another key challenge." That means finding the right balance of "vision and business acumen" and doing it quickly, Johnson noted. "In order to spread PLoS's fixed costs over a large number of articles, they will need to ramp up rapidly, but not so rapidly that they can't manage effectively." Finally, Johnson says putting together an effective management structure is vital: "How involved will or can the scientific leadership be? Given the scale of this venture, they'll either need to invest lots of time or be prepared to delegate responsibility to a trusted publishing functionary." --Library Journal Academic Newswire, The Publishing Report, May 15, 2003
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GROW wins Best Learning Object / Instructional Module Award
June 2003--GROW (Geotechnical Rock and Water Resources Library, site won first place award for "Best Learning Object / Instructional Module" at University of Arizona Learning Technologies Showcase 2003 held in Tucson on May 8th 2003 material. This is a yearly competition that is organized by the University of Arizona Multimedia User Group. There are entries from UA faculty, staff, students and members of Tucson community. To see a list of finalists and other entries see for more details. Visit to see GROW's entries.
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Gender & Science Digital Library Introduces New Services
June 2003--The Gender & Science Digital Library (GSDL) recently introduced some new services. These are: -Recommender system - users receive suggestions of other resources that are similar to each item on their search result list. -Users are able to see how closely matched each resource on the search result is to their original search query. -An Email-a-friend tool, which allows users to email GSDL resources to friends or colleagues. Other new additions, which are available only to registered GSDL users, are: -A User Comments feature, which allows users to comment on a resource's quality and ease of use. Users can also suggest ways to use the resource. These comments are made available to all users. -A Recipe Box feature, which allows users to save search results for future reference or share with other users. The GSDL collection has doubled in size since its launch in December 2002 To visit the expanded collection and use these features, please visit the GSDL at:
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Call for Nominations for the DLESE Steering Committee
June 2003--Nominations are being sought to fill vacancies on the Steering Committee for the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE). The Steering Committee is a broadly representative body chartered to provide strong, policy-level oversight and guidance for DLESE efforts. Steering Committee members serve for terms of three years. The current term of election starts at the DLESE Annual Meeting in August 2003, and continues through the 2006 DLESE Annual Meeting. If you are interested in serving, or know of someone else who would be, please follow the process as described on the DLESE website ( Nominations will be accepted through June 15, 2003.
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Managing Digital Intellectual Property
June 2003--The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a system for interoperably identifying and exchanging intellectual property in the digital environment. A DOI assigned to content enhances a content producer's ability to trade electronically. It provides a framework for managing content in any form at any level of granularity, for linking customers with content suppliers, for facilitating electronic commerce, and enabling automated copyright management for all types of media. The International DOI Foundation, a non-profit organization, manages development, policy and licensing of the DOI to registration agencies and technology providers and advises on usage and development of related services and technologies. The DOI system uses open standards with a standard syntax (ANSI/NISO Z39.84) and is currently used by leading international technology and content organizations.You may request more information from The DOI Handbook has been released in a new edition (3.0) which now fully describes how to create applications providing extensible DOI services through multiple resolution and the DOI metadata system. A ready-to-go mechanism to build applications limited only by the imagination is now in place, with the tools to do far more than simple persistent linking -- such as dynamic alerts to the availability of a new version of a document (demonstrated in Adobe Acrobat using DOIs). The new, shorter, handbook now fully describes tools such as DOI Application Profiles and the indecs Data Dictionary. As much of the metadata work (based on indecs) is not published elsewhere, this is also covered in detail in two appendices. A new glossary and completely rewritten chapters are part of the Handbook release.To see the handbook, go to --DOI News, May 2003
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The "Collaboration Finder" and the Fourth Annual NSDL Annual Meeting
June 2003--In preparation for the October 12-15 Annual Meeting, we need you to complete your Collaboration Finder entry. The Collaboration Finder not only helps NSDL projects connect to one another, it helps larger NSDL structures perform important functions like identifying speakers from the whole NSDL community to participate in the All Projects meeting. Your entry will take about 15 minutes to complete and you can complete your entry anytime at: We'd like to see a significant increase in Collaboration Finder entries by June 15. Won't you please be part of this success? Please contact me if you have any questions or comments. I look forward to talking to you at 734 764-5384, or email at: A. Mardis, MILS, Project Director, Michigan Teacher Network
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Communities of Practice
June 2003--Many projects within NSDL are forming communities of practice, whether with groups of teachers, scientists, or content developers. A common definition of communities of practice describes them as "groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis." (from Cultivating Communities of Practice, Wenger, McDermott, Snyder). So, we're forming a community of practice within NSDL for those of us involved in creating and sustaining communities. We will be offering a series of presentations by NSDL projects who have built communities as a forum for sharing ideas and lessons learned. These presentations will be taped and available on the workspace.
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NSDL Policy Committee Proposal Announcement: Guidelines for Core Standing Committee Processes
June 2003--Proposals for NSDL official "Guidelines" are submitted to the full NSDL community for public comment for a period of one month. Beginning Friday, May 30, 2003, the Policy Committee will receive comments through the Policy Committee public list (see below) on the proposed document: "Guidelines for Core Standing Committee Processes". Weekly reminders that the Policy Committee is soliciting comments will be posted to the NSDL All Projects list throughout the public comment period. A link will be included in the weekly reminder to an online table itemizing the points raised during the public discussion. The table will provide for a Policy Committee response to each itemized point. The Policy Committee may provide responses during the comment period and will definitely do so no later than the date of the announcement of Policy Committee action on the proposal. COMMENT PERIOD: Friday, May 30, 2003 through Friday, June 27, 2003 DOCUMENT STATUS: NSDL Guideline PROPOSAL TEXT: COMMENT LIST: ABSTRACT: PC-G1 frames a set of Guidelines outlining basic procedures for management of core NSDL standing committee processes including: (1) the roles of committee chairs and committe members; (2) the establishment of committee work items and deliverables; (3) the conduct of standard committee meetings; and (4) committee reporting processes.The definition of an NSDL Guideline may be found in PC-1, section 2.2.
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NEW: NSDL Whiteboard Report to Increase Publishing Frequency
June 2003--Beginning in July 2003 NSDL Whiteboard Report will begin bi-monthly publishing giving NSDL projects additional opportunities to share timely news. Project leaders and participants from the NSDL Community are encouraged to send research news and notes of 100 words or less with web links to additional information to NSDL Whiteboard Report. Advance deadline information about submissions to meetings and conferences in various disciplines is particularly welcome. Look for Whiteboard Report email reminders in the first and third weeks of each month. Please email editorsCathy Manduca (, Outreach Coordinator, Digital Library for Earth System Education, DLESE, Carol Terrizzi (, Communication Director, NSDL Cornell Core Integration, and Susan Van Gundy (, Education and Outreach Specialist, NSDL Core Integration with questions or ideas.

Gender & Science Digital Library and Effective Access at WEPAN Conference
June 2003--The Gender & Science Digital Library & Effective Access projects will be presenting at the Women in Engineering Programs & Advocates Network (WEPAN) conference in Chicago, Illinois from June 8-11. This year's theme is "Working Together for Equity" and will explore strategies to increase women's participation in industry, academia, and in mentoring young women. The GSDL and Effective Access projects will present a session entitled "Bridging Barriers: Using Technology to Attract, Retain and Mentor the Engineering Workforce of Tomorrow". The session will highlight the effective use of digital resources such as the NSDL in creating and preparing a new engineering workforce. The session will be presented by Sarita Nair and Katherine Hanson on Tuesday June 10th at 2 pm. For more information on the conference, please visit

2003 National Conference On Educational Robotics
June 2003--The KISS Institute for Practical Robotics is accepting registrations for the 2003 National Conference on Educational Robotics. The conference will be held at the National Center for Employee Development, Norman, OK, June 28-July 1, 2003. The conference features keynote speakers, break out sessions for students and teachers, robot exhibitions, and networking opportunities. Students and educators are invited to submit papers to be presented at the event. The 2003 Botball National Tournament will also take place at the conference. Botball is a hands-on learning experience in robotics designed to engage students in learning the practical applications of science, technology, engineering, and math. The cost of the conference is $35 per person if registered by June 2, 2003. After June 2, cost of application will be $45 per person. The 2003 National Botball Tournament is free and open to the public. For more information, visit Coalition Electronic Bulletin, May 22, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 20



New Science Search
June 2003--These archives are growing constantly. With G2 will also offer electronic journal-articles from publishers. G2 is scheduled to launch later this year.
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Ariadne Issue 35
June 2003--Reporting on information service developments and information networking issues worldwide, keeping the busy practitioner abreast of current digital library initiatives.
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June 2003--The average lifespan of a web page is 44 days. --University of California, Berkeley study, 2001
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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