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

The Whiteboard Report
October 2003, Issue #38



Metadata Rights in OAI
October 2003-- Ithaca, NY, Los Alamos NM & Loughborough UK-The Open Archives Initiative and Project RoMEO announce the formation of OAI-rights. The goal of this effort is to investigate and develop means of expressing rights about metadata and resources in the OAI framework. The result will be an addition to the OAI implementation guidelines that specifies mechanisms for rights expressions within the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH).

The area of rights expressions is wide-open with many organizations proposing languages and mechanisms. Therefore, the OAI-rights effort will aim to be extensible, providing a general framework for expressing rights statements within OAI-PMH. These statements will target both the metadata itself and the resources described by that metadata. In the context of this broader framework, OAI-rights will use Creative Commons licenses as a motivating and deployable example.

The press release is available at A white paper describing the scope and issues in OAI-rights is available at
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Great Beginnings: NSDL Progress Report, Fall 2000 - Summer 2003
October 2003-- Over the last three years the NSDL community has built strong human and technological foundations for the National Science Digital Library. The NSDL Educational Impact and Evaluation Standing Committee and NSDL Core Integration will be pleased to distribute the premiere annual NSDL Progress Report, Fall 2000-Summer 2003 that tells the story of NSDL's great beginnings, at the upcoming Annual Meeting and online at Highlights include:

* The history behind NSDL Program development
* Key accomplishments
* A comprehensive listing of NSDL projects
* An overview of NSDL project awards
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Visit a Redesigned
October 2003-- On October 6, 2003 will debut a new look and feel redesigned to give Library visitors improved access to:
* An interactive community web site with mail list , document posting, and online work group services.
The new Community web site integrated at replaces the old Communication Portal.
* Search services with access to over 300,000 resources
* Automated access to the most current Library aquisitions in the "New in the Library" Exhibit
* Automated Library system status alerts

Please send your comments to

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ICON Making Milestones Happen
October 2003-- In June 2003, ICON activated its user registration to provide two new features as a result of logging in to ICON. Users that register free with ICON and log in to the system will be able to contribute "User Comments" for each resource. When looking at the "View of the Full ICON Record" at the bottom of the page you will be given a link to submit your comments on the resource. Also, "My ICON Favorites" will allow easy access and sorting of preferred resources in specified user folders. To add resources to your favorites, simply register as a user, login to the system, find a resources you wish to add, click on the "View of the Full ICON Record" and at the top of the page click on "Add to my favorites". You will be given an option to place your resource in an existing folder or in a new folder you create. This feature will provide immediate access to your most useful resources.

Although the summer equates a time when most educators are not engaged in classroom activities, educators were very responsive to the ICON digital library. ICON was able to collect 109 registered users over the summer and expects to receive significantly more registrations as our users spread the word about the collection. We appreciate the interest of our constituents in the State of Texas who currently lead all states in number of registered users of ICON. This response was due to the exhibition and special session presentations of ICON at the Technology Education Conference, in Houston, Texas, July 28th to the 30th. ICON will continue its steam through presentations and exhibitions in up-state New York at Oswego State University of New York in October and at the Technology Educators of Indiana Conference in November.

In addition, ICON has successfully reached over 1500 resources and hopes to eclipse the 2,000 plateau by the end of 2003. ICON has made major improvements to workflow processes and increased cycle times at each collection position to provide more resources to our users without sacrificing the quality of the collection. We look forward to discussing with any of our NSDL cohorts the reporting features that have recently been developed by ICON to improve efficiency, accountability, and movement of resources.

As a project of the International Technology Education association, ICON believes in supporting initiatives and efforts to promoting the acceptance of educational standards developed by the organization. ITEA continues to solicit any input in supporting concerns related to the insufficient development of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) technology plan. Please see this letter from the Executive Director of ITEA - Dr. Kendall Starkweather After reading this letter, if you choose to respond to the U.S. Department of Education in favor of our perspective on technological literacy, we thank you for your support and cooperation.
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GROW Project Wins Award and Recognition
October 2003-- The GROW project, has been named a Civil Engineering Coolsite by Emerald Abstracts. Only exceptional sites are included in Coolsites and are eligible to display this award. Emerald Abstracts' reviewers evaluate every site on five criteria: style, structure, ease of use, quality of information, and usefulness to the practitioner. As an additional accolade, GROW has been added to Emerald Abstracts Civil Engineering Coolsites as the September Geotechnical Engineering Coolsite.

In addition, GROW has earned a "TopTen" listing on, the number one directory for engineers, designers, and architects.
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NSDL Annual Meeting October 12-15, 2003, Washington, D.C.
October 2003-- Highlights include new project orientation on Sunday October 12 with a poster session and opening reception beginning at 6:00 p.m. The Annual Meeting Program and other meeting information is available at
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Upcoming Conference Paper and Registration Deadlines
October 2003-- 25th Annual National Educational Computing Conference
June 21-23, 2004, New Orleans, Louisiana
Call for participation: October 8, 2003 Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education
Call for presentations: October 15 CHI 2004
April 24-29, 2004, Vienna, Austria
Early submissions: October 6, 2003

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Librarians and Google
October 2003-- It was Cornell reference librarians versus the giant search engine Google in a showdown - well, study - to see whether librarians' free services could compete against Google Answers, a reference service that charges a fee. Anne Kenney, associate university librarian, told the LJ that the librarians wanted to examine why people would pay for a service available for free at libraries. Cornell's librarians did better than Google's staff, "but only slightly." Kenney says that's not a bad thing: "If for instance an outside provider can adequately address simple reference questions at one-fifth the cost of doing so in-house, why duplicate the service?"--Library Journal News Wire, Sept. 10
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Metadata and Google
October 2003-- "In the Web's early years, the overwhelming favorite among search engines was Yahoo. Today it's Google. Neither has actually had better text search technology than the competition. They won because they used metadata effectively to make their services more useful."--By Tim Bray, On Search: Metadata
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World's Largest Listing of Calls for Papers
October 2003-- was conceived and developed to assist those numerous scientists, professors and student researchers who have had a difficult time in tracking Calls for Papers from professional bodies, universities, journal editors and other conference organizers.
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October 2003-- The old computing is what computers can do; the new computing is about what people can do.--Ben Shneiderman
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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