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

The Whiteboard Report
August 2006, Issue #99



Whiteboard Report at One Hundred
NSDL Whiteboard Report was first published to share news and information from a brand-new community of projects as they began working together to create NSDL. Since then The National Science Digital Library community has been on a long and winding road from 2000 and before, to 2006 and beyond. NSDL Whiteboard Report will publish a special issue on Sept 6, 2006 to celebrate issue 100 by featuring reflections on what's happened so far, and what may be in store for the next 100 issues. Contact Carol Minton Morris for more information. You may sign up to receive NSDL Whiteboard Report here.
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2006 NSDL Annual Meeting to Highlight Collaborations
The theme of the NSDL 2006 Annual Meeting Leveraging Accomplishments Into New Opportunities was chosen to highlight the ongoing rich exchange of ideas and information about how the NSDL community is expanding what it means to be a digital library through technical and educational collaborations. Conference presentations will focus on three topics that examine different aspects of the meeting's theme.

Positioning NSDL in Broader Contexts
Sessions under this topic are intended to consider the library's role in the research, technology, education, and policy arenas as well as the impact on the library of trends in these areas.

Leveraging Project and Community Accomplishments
These sessions will highlight community collaborations involving multiple NSDL projects, or between NSDL projects and other entities, that have achieved successes by capitalizing on shared technical innovations, content, educational strategies, and user networks.

New Opportunities for Collaboration
Projects will share information about tools, services, strategies, and/or other results of investigations that are of potential benefit to the broader community.

For more information about how to participate in the NSDL Annual Meeting to be held in Washington, D.C. at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) October 18-20, 2006 please visit the Annual Meeting web site. Meeting registration is now open.
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While browsing news stories online a teacher runs across an article about global warming and wonders what additional resources might illustrate the article for her students. She types "Global Warming" into the NSDL Toolbar search box at the top of her browser window. "Games for Global Warming" along with many other science resources are returned in just one click from the article without leaving the page. Try it for yourself by downloading NSDL-On-a-Toolbar here.

NSDL-on-a-Toolbar is a convenient way to keep access to NSDL handy while browsing the Internet with Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer. And it's easy to use. The toolbar puts an NSDL search box into your browser making it easier than ever to find high quality online educational resources. Search for individual NSDL resources or browse entire collections with ease. NSDL audience and subject specific Pathways web sites are also accessible through the toolbar.

In addition, if you find something on the web that you would like to learn more about while using the toolbar, highlight a key word in the text, right click on your mouse, and select 'Search on' to have NSDL resources returned about your topic.

Please share the free NSDL Toolbar with other STEM learning communities and use the "Talk to Us!" button to let NSDL know how you are using NSDL-On-aToolbar.
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National Study to Focus on Understanding Higher Ed Faculty Use of Digital Libraries
What kinds of content and services are higher ed and other potential users looking for from your digital library? How would your users like to interact with the content in your digital library and what do they see as barriers to using your digital library and its content? Based on feedback from focus groups around the country , researchers have developed a survey that should take instructors approximately 15 minutes to complete. The survey will be offered to community colleges, four-year colleges, and universities, public and private to gather information that will be sorted by institution classification, instructor rank, and discipline.

We need your help to make this study a success.

Researchers would like to include your institution and the institutions of your users. Participating institutions will receive the answers of their respondents. Analysis of the aggregated data will also be shared with the NSDL community and beyond. Please visit find out more, and, or contact Alan Wolf for more information about the study. Please forward this message to your colleagues.
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Pathways News: ComPADRE Featured in AIP and IEEE Computing in Science and Engineering
ComPadre PI Bruce Mason has written an article entitled "Digital Libraries in Support of Science Education: A Case for Computational Physics" for Computing in Science and Engineering. The index for the July 2006 issue is online here.

Mason states in the article, "In their roles as teachers, science faculty members generally use a narrow range of resources, often materials obtained from a handful of publishers. Some might use Web searches for help with their teaching, but most don't have the time to explore the thousands of links returned. The result is that most instructors settle for resources that unfortunately don't have the greatest possible impact on their students' learning. Indeed, faculty would greatly benefit from recommendations and context that their peers could provide. The National Science Digital Library and its member projects are working to develop an online resource that provides the selection and context that will enhance available science education resources and help improve learning."
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NSDL SERC Team Wins Geoscience Information Society Award
An article entitled "Influencing User Behavior through Digital Library Design: An Example from the Geosciences" by Catherine Manduca, Ellen Iverson, Sean Fox and Flora McMartin published in D-Lib magazine in May 2005, available here, has been chosen as the winner of the the Geoscience Information Society's Best Paper Award to be presented at "The Pursuit of Science," the 2006 meeting of the Geological Society of America to be held Oct. 22-25 in Philadelphia .

The article describes the user-centric, evaluation-driven model of digital library design used by the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) in its NSDL-funded Starting Point: Teaching Entry-Level Geosciences portal. SERC is currently engaged with a group of digital library and campus partners to extend this model to communities outside the geosciences as part of its NSDL-funded Pedagogic Service for Digital Libraries.
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Second International Conference on Open Repositories
Texas A&M University Libraries and The University of Texas Libraries are pleased to invite your participation in the Second International Conference on Open Repositories, January 23-26, 2007 in San Antonio, Texas. Open Repositories 2007 will continue the very successful format of Open User Group meetings for DSpace, Fedora, and Eprints, followed by general conference sessions that cover cross-cutting and overarching issues.

The Program Committee for the general conference invites you to submit an extended abstract of no more than 500 words by October 2, 2006. The contributions must be written in English and should be double spaced. Selected speakers will receive an email by November 6, 2006 with guidelines for their presentation.
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American Council of Learned Societies Invites Applications for Digital Innovation Fellowships
With assistance from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies invites applications for the second annual competition for the ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowships. This program supports digitally based research projects in all disciplines of the humanities and humanities-related social sciences. It is hoped that projects of successful applicants will help advance digital humanistic scholarship by broadening understanding of its nature and exemplifying the robust infrastructure necessary for creating further such works.

The ACLS Online Fellowship Application system will opened in July for the 2006-07 competition. Deadline for applications is September 27, 2006 Visit the ACLS Web site (above) for complete program information and application procedures.
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Call for Participation in the Encyclopedia of Digital Libraries
Digital libraries, now part of the global infrastructure, are being envisioned to interconnect many computer networks and various forms of information technologies around the world, a partial fulfilment of Vannevar Bush's 1945 dream Memex of a personal microfiche-based system to tackle the problem of information overload.

The Encyclopedia of Digital Libraries aims to provide comprehensive coverage and definitions of the most important issues, concepts, trends and technologies relating to digital library technology and applications. All contributions will be peer-reviewed providing a compendium of terms, definitions and explanations of concepts, processes and acronyms. This important new publication will be distributed worldwide among academic and professional institutions and will be instrumental in providing researchers, scholars, students and professionals with access to the latest knowledge relating to digital libraries.

Proposals may be sent to:
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Call for Papers: Official Quarterly Journal of the International Society for Knowledge Organization
Knowledge Organization, published by ERGON-Verlag, Würzburg, Germany, is an international refereed quarterly journal that publishes scholarly papers and reports related to all aspects of knowledge organization.

Please email manuscripts for consideration (in Word, or RTF format) with an indicative abstract to Prof. Richard P. Smiraglia, Editor-in-Chief (Long Island Univ., New York USA) .
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Fountains of Knowledge
Data Fountains (DF) is a a national, cooperative information utility for shared Internet resource discovery, metadata application and full-text harvest of value to Internet portals, virtual libraries and library catalogs partially funded by NSDL. If you wish to test drive Data Fountains and have some time to explore, the Data Fountains team would like to introduce you to DF's services, technology, and software. Please contact Project Manager Steve Mitchell to get started.

Please email your comments to Johannes Ruscheinski If you have administrative questions please get in touch with Steve Mitchell . For technical questions or problems contact Paul Vander Griend .
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Interactive Molecules
The Journal of Chemical Education's online exhibit entitled "Featured Molecules" highlights interactive images that are linked to molecular structures or other graphic images from articles in their print Journal. Many articles in the Journal of Chemical Education include molecular structures naturally in a two-dimensional representation. This collection of interactive Chime-based structures are chosen from some of these molecules. While many such Web-based structure collections exist, having the structures in a single location and linked to specific articles in JCE (and vice versa) will benefit both teachers and students.
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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