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

The Whiteboard Report
September 2003, Issue #36



Improving Library Service: LibQUAL+(TM) 2003 Survey Results
September 2003-- LibQUAL+(TM) is a research and development project undertaken by Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in conjunction with Texas A & M University as one of the ARL New Measures Initiatives. The project is defining and measuring library service quality across institutions and creating useful quality assessment tools for libraries.

Results from the spring 2003 LibQUAL+(TM) survey implementation have been released, presenting summary data for more than 125,000 library users across 308 libraries, including college and university, community college, public research, and health sciences libraries. This year the project expanded beyond North America and included libraries in the U.K. and the Netherlands. A French language version of the instrument was implemented in two different institutions in Canada. LibQUAL+(TM) is a suite of services offered by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) that allows libraries to solicit, track, understand, and act upon users' opinions of service quality. For additional information, please visit

Share Project Photos on the Homepage
September 2003-- In order to visually represent the breadth and depth of NSDL's collections and community in promotional materials and on the site, we are seeking digital photographs of people engaged in activities related to STEM research and education, and the use of digital libraries. It is our preference to use images from actual NSDL projects instead of commercially available stock photos. Ideally your photos will represent a diversity of people, activities, scientific disciplines, and educational settings. The images should be clearly discernable in a thumbnail size reproduced in black and white. Minimum resolution is 400 x 300 dpi (higher is better). We would love to have a pool of good images by September 15, but also feel free to send them at any time. Please contact Susan Van Gundy at 303-497-2946 / with any questions or to submit your photos.
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September 2003-- Please send error messages, broken link information, or questions about content to
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About the Collaboration Finder
September 2003-- An Interview with Brandon Muramatsu, Principal Investigator and Marcia Mardis, Senior Personnel
To foster partnerships, collaboration and cooperation, the Collaboration Finder helps NSDL participants learn more about the individual projects that make up the NSDL. It collects project specifics and classifies them according to discipline, funding year, NSDL track and more. In this way, projects can be better integrated, defined and leveraged.
"Through the Collaboration Finder, NSDL developers can make sense of the various projects and find areas of common interest," said Brandon Muramatsu, the project's principal investigator. "It also helps participants easily grasp the entire scope of NSDL - from newly funded projects to areas that need further development."
High-tech, high-touch matchmaker The Collaboration Finder records in one central location all the collaborative possibilities between NSDL participants. It compiles project and personal data to help individuals find others, based on professional interests. It also encourages synergy within the developer community, driving projects forward.
While Muramatsu and his team builds the technology components, Marcia Mardis, senior personnel, stimulates involvement within the NSDL community. Both use their contacts to broker partnerships.
"Using the Collaboration Finder, I recently introduced a potential contributor to a large, established digital collection," explained Mardis. "Serendipitous discovery was helped by the Collaboration Finder's human component."
Tool to view and shape the NSDL portfolio
In addition to linking developers, the Collaboration Finder aids NSDL management in planning initiatives, gaining funding, strengthening proposals, steering projects and providing accountability.
"Program officers can evaluate all completed and developing NSDL projects - numbering at least 120 now - plus attach PI names to each effort. Pinpointing what each one's actually doing and the progress they're making towards specific deliverables is a very powerful tool for the program," said Muramatsu.
Increased participation critical to success
To maximize its effectiveness, the Collaboration Finder depends on input from all NSDL contributors. When the Collaboration Finder is fully operational, contributors can log on and quickly find others with similar interests or identify those who have the expertise to perform specific tasks.
"What you get out of the Collaboration Finder is equivalent to what you put in," stated Mardis. "If everyone is willing to share information about projects on a granular level, there will be real value in participating."
The Collaboration Finder encourages profiling through personal contacts, presentations and NSDL publications. Muramatsu and Mardis also rely on their extended network to persuade their collaborators to detail their projects and identify others they'd be interested in learning more about.
Strengthening the NSDL community The NSDL's continuing ability to serve its target audiences effectively depends on what's happening behind the scenes. As the NSDL grows, so should the cohesiveness of the community.
"My vision for the NSDL is not that it becomes an ever-growing list of projects, but an ever-growing, interlinked, communicating list of projects," concluded Mardis. "I hope the Collaboration Finder furthers that aim."

NSDL Projects: Register by Sept. 12 for the NSDL Annual Meeting
September 2003-- NSDL is an organization built from the work of its members and volunteers which is why the NSDL community needs you to attend the NSDL Annual Meeting 2003. Register online, bring a poster about your project, and meet others with similar interests and goals.

Posters are a way for projects to inform others in the NSDL community about what they are doing and what they can offer. Please take the time to submit a poster registration about your project when you register at

Upcoming deadlines for participation in conferences and meetings of interest to NSDL partners will be available in Whiteboard Report as information becomes available. Share your conference information in Whiteboard Report by emailing Carol Terrizzi or Susan VanGundy.
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Upcoming Conference Paper and Registration Deadlines
September 2003--
The International Society for Knowledge Organization 8th International ISKO Conference (ISKO 8)
July13th-16th 2004, London, England
Abstracts: Sept. 30, 2003
Posters: Sept. 30, 2003
Notification: Dec. 1, 2003
Paper submission: March 1, 2004

ASIS&T Annual Conference: Humanizing Information Technology: From Ideas to Bits and Back
October 19-22, Long Beach, CA
Registration deadline: Sept. 5

E-Learn (AACE)
November 7-11, 2003 * Phoenix, Arizona
Registration deadline: Sept. 16
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Up-to-date NSDL Metadata Information
September 2003-- A new document describing the safe transforms used on data ingested into the NSDL Metadata Repository is now available through the Metadata Primer at:
If you have questions, comments or suggestions for improvement, please contact Diane Hillmann ( or Naomi Dushay (
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Building a Digital Library of Kinematics
September 2003-- Principles considered in the DL design from how to represent kinematic motion including work on developing interactive moving images, kinematic simulations, and a three-dimensional printing process, to how reading and writing kinematics might apply in classrooms are presented in this article from the NSDL K-MODDL team.--RGL DigiNews, Aug. 15, 2003
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Dewey Goes Decimal
September 2003-- NSDL partners Tim Cole, mathematics librarian and associate professor of Library Administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Technology Standing Committee chair, and Rick Furuta, Project Coordinator for The Cervantes Digital Library at Texas A & M University contributed ideas for this article.-- Matt Villano, University Business, June 2003
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Meta-Design of a Community Digital Library
September2003-- Mike Wright, Mary Marlino and Tamara Sumner explore of the meta-design concept in an article presenting how the geoscience community has worked to develop The Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) in the light of recent work in the area of meta-design, the design of the design process. The development of DLESE is described utilizing a conceptual framework developed from the analysis of a variety of open source projects. -- D-Lib Magazine, May 2002
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Rich Site Summary (RSS): "The Anti-Spam"
September 2003-- Is RSS an alternative to email spam? RSS may turn out to be the preferred format for newsletters, site headlines and all sorts of information that has been traditionally e-mailed. --Ryan Naraine, D.C., Sept. 1, 2003
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September 2003-- Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to managing and promoting the Open Source Definition for the good of the community, specifically through the OSI Certified Open Source Software certification mark and program.
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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