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

The Whiteboard Report
July 2004, Issue #56



Register NOW for the NSDL 2004 Annual Meeting; Submit Proposals for Sessions
July 2004--Registration for the 2004 NSDL Annual Meeting: Designing Strategies for Success, to be held November 14-17 in Chicago, is now available at

Participants may register for general attendance, poster sessions, and newcomers? orientation until October 22, 2004. The deadline for travel support, as well as for a guaranteed rate on reservations at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, is October 15, 2004.

The Annual Meeting Planning Committee is also accepting proposals for meeting sessions including workshops, panel discussions, crit labs, and special interest groups. Proposals must be submitted by August 6, 2004. Full details are available at Please direct all questions and comments regarding Annual Meeting registration to 
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Technology Standing Committee Helps Organize Scientific Markup Languages Workshop
July 2004--The NSF/NSDL Scientific Markup Languages workshop was held at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia on June 15 (Wiki URL: Forty participants took part in the workshop, including several experts and stakeholders not formally affiliated with any specific NSDL grant. A wide-range of NSDL-funded projects and various scientific domains and markup languages were represented, as well as database designers and scholarly publishers.

The day consisted of:  * Plenary presentations regarding the exchange of scientific information relevant to science domains and markup languages; * Short presentations from markup language and domain experts in Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Mathematics, Materials, and Physics; * Focused small-group working sessions; and, * A closing report out and panel discussion identifying over-arching benefits, challenges and next steps for the sectors represented at the workshop.

Workshop outcomes, documented in a report and other supporting materials, will be disseminated to the NSF and NSDL community as well as presented at the upcoming NSDL Annual Meeting. The workshop was a follow-up to the Birds of a Feather (BOF) session held on the same topic at the October 2003 NSDL Annual Meeting and is expected to be a valuable precursor to future activities in this area. The Wiki conference site and list-serv will be maintained to facilitate this ongoing work. With support of the Technology Committee, the Workshop Planning Committee included: Laura Bartolo (Chair), Howard Burrows, Stuart Chalk, Tim Cole (Co-Chair), Ben Domenico, Sam Dooley, Sarah Giersch (Consultant), John Saylor, and Mike Wright.
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Animal Behavior Metadata Standard
July 2004--NSDL is currently hosting an Animal behavior metadata wiki ( The Animal Behavior Metadata Standard development project was funded by NSF separately from NSDL support. Results, however, are part of a critical path effort to bring the Macaulay Library) and its rich media into the NSDL. Establishing a standard that others can use to federate databases and exchange data will dramatically increase universal access to deep web animal resources and information. An international workshop was held at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology ( in April 2004 to draft an ontology for the field. Comments on the draft ontology are welcome at
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GROW cited by Science Magazine as ?Rock Solid Learning? 
July 2004--GROW has been cited in the June 11th publication of Science Magazine (a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science) as a ?Rock solid learning? site in its education category. GROW is a ?one-stop site? for quality civil engineering digital resources for K-12 to professional engineers. GROW?s resources are also used by middle school mathematics and science teachers. You can view the citation at
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Geosciences and Information Technology
July 2004--To familiarize a group of geoscience students and researchers with emerging/ established Information Technology (IT) tools and concepts NSF has funded an effort called "Cyberinfrastructure Summer Institute for Geoscientists". The Summer Institute will be held at the San Diego Supercomputer Center on the University of California, San Diego campus. This week-long summer institute will take place between August 16-20, 2004. During the institute a series of lectures and hands-on exercises will allow participants to learn about specific IT tools and resources that can be useful in their daily research activities. 

Details about this institute and the application form can be found at

Please let your colleagues and students know about this opportunity. Partial support will be available. The class size will be limited to 40.
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Communications Portal: Ideas, Comments, Complaints
July 2004--Since Karen Henry took over as CI's project manager (see June 16, 2004 issue 55), Susan Jesuroga has handed over that set of tasks, and is back in the community saddle. Besides contacting project staff and working on integration issues, Susan will lead a major overhaul of the Communications Portal (, ultimately resulting in it becoming an integrated part of Document sharing, email lists, workspaces, and searching are important elements of the existing community site. Susan would like to hear from you about what other features would be useful in helping you do your work with the NSDL community. Blogging? Communications improvements? Online events? Please send your ideas to Susan Jesuroga at .
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Deep Web Government Science Resources
July 2004--Scientists at federal agencies have filled billions of database fields and millions of Web pages with their research results. Until recently, much of it was inaccessible to commercial search engines.

The 2-year-old portal now can reach 47 million agency pages as well as databases, drilling down into what researchers call ?the deep Web.? --Joab Jackson, "Deep Web," Government Computer News |, June 29, 2004
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EPIC Research On Changing Scholarly Habits
July 2004--While the online publishing products developed at Columbia University and elsewhere have yielded some interesting information concerning the process of creating these resources, few have provided extensive analysis of data involving questions of cost and use of these projects on a comparative basis.

The Andrew W. Mellon foundation has awarded EPIC a grant to conduct an evaluation of online resources. The project goal is to answer the important questions that everyone involved is asking, namely, how are these digital projects affecting the overall scholarly communications process as a whole in terms of cost throughout the life cycle of the publication process; how is the use of these resources affecting qualitatively and quantitatively the research and teaching patterns of scholars and students; and what are the financial models that will allow for sustainability of these products over the long term?
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Advanced Research into Preservation of Digital Materials
July 2004--The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program of the Library of Congress (NDIIPP) is partnering with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish the first research grants program to specifically address the preservation of digital materials. NSF will administer the program, which will fund cutting-edge research to support the long-term management of digital information.This effort is part of the Library's collaborative program to implement a national digital preservation strategy.

"One of the most critical issues we face in the preservation of digital materials is a need for better technology and methods to manage these objects over long periods of time," said Associate Librarian for Strategic Initiatives Laura E. Campbell, who is directing this initiative for the Library. "We are very pleased to be working with the National Science Foundation to encourage important research breakthroughs. This will help the Library of Congress, as well as our network of partners who are working with us, to preserve America's digital heritage for future generations."

The new Digital Archiving and Long-Term Preservation research program, which expects to make to make approximately $2 million in initial awards using NDIIPP funds, has three main focus areas for which proposals are sought:

Digital repository models Tools, technologies and processes Organizational, economic and policy issues.

The NSF Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Division of Information and Intelligent Systems, will issue a call for proposals shortly.
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July 2004--Can ideas be contgagious? Blogdex is a research project of the MIT Media Laboratory tracking the diffusion of information through the weblog community. Ideas can have very similar properties to a disease, spreading through the population like wildfire. The goal of Blogdex is to explore what it is about information, people, and their relationships that allows for this contagious media.
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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