Clips & Pointers


D-Lib Magazine
May 2006

Volume 12 Number 5

ISSN 1082-9873

In Brief


The New Zetoc RSS Service

Contributed by:
Ann Apps
MIMAS, The University of Manchester, UK

Zetoc [1] is a bibliographic current awareness service that provides discovery of relevant literature within the British Library's Electronic Table of Contents of journal articles and conference papers, to UK researchers, learners and teachers. The Zetoc database, which is updated daily, contains details of around 20,000 current journals and approximately 16,000 conference papers per year, covering all disciplines. A search using the Zetoc web interface yields bibliographic citation details of a discovered article, along with an OpenURL link for location of the article online, as well as the option of document delivery from the British Library. Zetoc also has a popular email alerting service that provides details of new articles, either within chosen journals or according to designated search criteria.

A new addition to the Zetoc portfolio is an RSS [2] journals service that syndicates the arrival of new articles into Zetoc, providing researchers with an alternative method of keeping up-to-date with the latest articles in their favourite journals. Zetoc being publisher agnostic provides RSS syndication of a large number of journals. For each article within an RSS feed there is a URL link to its full bibliographic details within the Zetoc web interface, providing the possibility of locating the article using the usual Zetoc document delivery options. Thus if a user has an institutional OpenURL resolver, they can easily move from an article's details within an RSS feed to a menu of related services, including potentially an appropriate copy of the full text.

Zetoc RSS feeds conform to RSS 1.0 [3], RDF Site Summary, thus allowing the inclusion of more detailed citation information, using elements from additional namespaces, alongside the basic RSS ones of title, link, and description. However, because many RSS readers display the values of only the basic elements, significant information is repeated within the description field. For each journal the RSS feed contains its details, including title, ISSN and publisher, as simple Dublin Core [4]. The article details within the RSS channel items, such as title, authors and publication year, are also described using simple Dublin Core. Additionally the basic bibliographic citation details of the article, journal name, volume, issue and page numbers, are included within a 'bibliographicCitation' element from qualified Dublin Core, as a text string, consistent with the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative's recommendation for capturing citations [5]. Also included is an OpenURL Key/Encoded-Value ContextObject [6] containing citation details of an article suitable for subsequent processing by downstream applications.

Subscription to an RSS feed for a particular journal is via an RSS link alongside its name in the Zetoc journals list. Access to the Zetoc RSS service is available to authorised Zetoc users only. Zetoc is currently freely available to UK higher and further education institutions, and by modest subscription to UK Research Councils, Irish educational institutions and UK Eduserv Chest associates [7]. The Zetoc service, including its development is supported by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) [8] of the UK Higher and Further Education Funding Councils. The Zetoc data is provided by the British Library [9].


[1] Zetoc Electronic Table of Contents. <>.

[2] Wikipedia: RSS (file format). <>.

[3] RDF Site Summary (RSS) 1.0. <>.

[4] Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. <>.

[5] Guidelines for Encoding Bibliographic Citation Information in Dublin Core Metadata. <>.

[6] ANSI/NISO Z39.88-2004: The OpenURL Framework for Context-Sensitive Services. <>.

[7] Sites eligible for Eduserv Chest agreements. <>.

[8] JISC: The Joint Information Systems Committee. <>.

[9] The British Library. <>.

Digital access to the special collections of Leiden University Library

Contributed by:
Peter Verhaar
Special Collections Research Centre
Leiden University Library
Leiden, The Netherlands

In 2005, Leiden University in the Netherlands launched a project to improve and extend digital access to its Special Collections. An important goal of this project is the development of collection-level descriptions. Leiden University Library is pleased to announce that a first set of collection guides is currently available online. They can be found at the following address: <>.

For each collection, information about the extent, provenance, acquisition and scope and contents has been recorded systematically. Several collection guides also include Item-level descriptions. On the website, it is possible to search both within and across the various collections on the basis of free search terms, subject headings and personal and geographical names. All abstracts and controlled search terms have been provided in both English and Dutch.

The collection guides have been encoded in XML according to the data structure provided by Encoded Archival Description (EAD). This standard has been widely adopted by archival institutions and university libraries worldwide. Using standards such as EAD is an important step that should ultimately lead towards union access to special collections, irrespective of their physical location.

The number of collections that are currently available is still limited, but more content will be added on a regular basis. In the near future, several collection guides will also be extended to include digitised versions of the materials that are described.

Institutional Repositories and Enhanced and Alternative Metrics of Publication Impact: Report of an International Workshop held at Humboldt University Berlin, 20-21 February 2006

Contributed by:
Frank Scholze (Stuttgart University Library)
Susanne Dobratz (Humboldt-University Berlin)

Open Access is one of the most popular terms in the library and information science community. Within the community there is a wide and controversial discussion on what would be the most successful ways to bring scientific authors to provide their publications as open access publications. One way would be to encourage the use and to enhance the visibility and usage of institutional repositories and Open Access journals, whereby usage is understood in the sense of reading as well as in the sense of citing a publication.

The DINI workshop in Berlin focused on 3 topics:
  • alternative metrics of impact based on usage data,
  • interoperable and standardized usage statistics, and
  • Open Access citation information.

To accomplish these there is a need to promote and standardize institutional repositories (IRs) as the basis of digital libraries, especially concerning the issues of data exchange formats and long term availability.

The need to fill the repositories was strongly highlighted throughout the discussion, in order to reach a critical mass. It was agreed that all three topics covered within the workshop pose different advantages and disadvantages and need different lines of action.

Usage data collection based on link resolver systems has been successfully performed in a huge field trial at CalState and LANL. It has to be tested under different basic conditions in Europe. The focus lies on the development of a suitable digital library infrastructure and on the question of which organisation(s) should aggregate and process the data.

In the field of usage data based on access logs, standardisation and collaborative efforts have to be intensified in order to come to comparable usage analyses for IRs and publisher sites. Workshop participants strongly felt the need for supporting actions in this field incorporating COUNTER and Project IRS activities in order to define criteria and working definitions that can be tested on a select number of IRs. Workshop organisers and participants will actively engage in closer co-operation with COUNTER and IRS to ensure that these important issues will be solved and promoted (e.g., in the DINI Certificate Document and Publication Repositories.)

Workshop participants agreed that there is a need to standardise citation information within the IRs, so they can become a solid basis for commercial services like WCI as well as open public services. Efforts in citation analysis have to be focused on author tools, reference resolving and exchange.

In order to follow all aspects relevant for the visibility of scientific publications, workshop participants agreed to form three working groups, taking on board additional experts as needed. Discussions must continue on an international level, especially with the European Science Foundation [1] and the Knowledge Exchange Office [2]. Based on the results of the workshop, these working groups will formulate requirements and implementation details in all three fields more thoroughly. Thus they will guarantee that this successful workshop will have sustainable consequences.

A detailed report can be found at:



[1] <>.

[2] Knowledge Exchange Office accessible via <>.

In the News

Excerpts from Recent Press Releases and Announcements

Free online access to nearly 200 years of medical research

May 11, 2006 - "Complete back issues covering nearly 200 years of historically significant biomedical journals are being made freely available online as a result of a landmark project launched today at the Wellcome Trust."

"On completion, the back files project will deliver over three million pages of medical journals free to anyone through standard search tools such as PubMed and Google."

"The initiative was developed through a partnership between the Wellcome Trust, JISC, the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) and a number of medical journal publishers."

For more information, please see the full press release at <>.

RLG to combine with OCLC

May 3, 2006 - "Two of the world's largest membership-based information organizations have agreed to come together. The combined organization will offer an integrated product and service line, and will give libraries, archives and museums new leverage in developing services, standards and software that will help them support research and disseminate knowledge online."

"The RLG Board of Directors and OCLC Board of Trustees have recommended that the two service and research organizations be combined effective July 1, 2006. If approved by RLG member institutions, RLG's online products and services will be integrated with OCLC products and services, and RLG's program initiatives will be brought forward as a new division of OCLC Programs and Research."

"A combined organization would provide an opportunity to leverage program strengths, services and innovative research initiatives, and to deliver more value to a greater number of libraries, museums, archives and other research organizations around the globe...."

"...Approval of the agreement requires the assent of two-thirds of voting RLG member institutions. Voting will conclude in early June. RLG-Programs would maintain an office in Mountain View, California. Staffing decisions will be made in the weeks leading up to the proposed transition."

For more information, please see the full press release <>.

Nancy Davenport Steps Down as President of the Council on Library and Information Resources

May 3, 2006 - "Nancy Davenport has announced that she will step down as president of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) at the end of her current term, June 30, 2006. She made the announcement at the April 28 CLIR Board of Directors meeting, where she thanked the Board 'for the privilege and trust you bestowed in giving me the opportunity to lead CLIR.'"

"Charles Phelps, provost at the University of Rochester and chairman of the Board, thanked Ms. Davenport for her work and contributions. He cited her leadership in convening respected voices and defining issues relating to CLIR's priorities in preservation and scholarly communication. Ms. Davenport, he noted, has also had a key role in launching CLIR's 'place as library' initiative, which is examining libraries' current efforts to transcend physical structures in order to better serve users and their communities. 'Place as library is a complex agenda,' Dr. Phelps noted, 'and we are grateful to have had Nancy Davenport at our helm to begin the process of addressing the issues related to this important new initiative.'..."

"...The Board has appointed an interim administrative subcommittee and has begun a search for a successor to Ms. Davenport."

For more information, please see the full press release at <>.

Loriene Roy elected ALA president for 2007-2008

May 1, 2006 - "Loriene Roy, professor at the University of Texas at Austin's School of Information, has been elected president of the American Library Association (ALA) for the 2007-2008 term...."

"...As ALA president, Roy will be the chief elected officer for the oldest and largest library organization in the world. Established in 1876, the ALA is the 'voice of America's libraries' and has more than 66,000 members. Its mission is to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all."

For more information, please see the full press release at <>.

University of Maryland Scientist Leads Creation of Virtual Science Library for Iraq

May 1, 2006 - "University of Maryland scientist D.J. Patil and a small group of colleagues have built a new, scientific library for strife-torn Iraq that will soon make some 17,422 journal titles available to Iraqi scientists and engineers who are decades behind in non-military science and technology. Though many Iraqi libraries are hopelessly out of date or have been looted, the new library is safe from such problems because it is virtual, with digital documents accessed via the Web."

"'If Iraqi scientists and engineers are going to be able help rebuild and stabilize their country as a peaceful democracy, they have to be able to access current knowledge in their fields,' said Patil, a mathematician and scientist with the university's Institute for Physical Science and Technology. 'Physically building such a library in Iraq would be prohibitively expensive, take a long time, and even if you could build it, scientists would not be able to access it easily or safely. We realized that building a digital library would avoid these difficulties, and we recognized that such a digital library could also serve as a model for other developing countries,' he said. "

"The Iraqi Virtual Science Library (IVSL) provides Iraqi engineers, medical personnel, scientists and students with access to full-text technical, online training and educational material, and funding opportunities. The library has been made available to 7 Iraqi universities, one research institution and the Ministries of Higher Education and Science & Technology. Some 80 percent of Iraq's scientists and students have access to full text technical articles, training, and online courses through the library. These resources are very similar to those available at a university in the United States. Patil explained that the goal is to transfer the project to the Iraqis as soon as it is feasible to do so."

For more information, please contact: Lee Tune <>.

uPortal Requirements Call

April 28, 2006, announcement from Ian Dolphin - "The JA-SIG Board of Directors extends an open invitation to participate in the evolution of the next generation uPortal. "

"Enterprise portals have quickly become the de facto gateway to online campus services. uPortal is one of the most widely deployed open source enterprise portal frameworks, having been developed by and for higher education and adopted by hundreds of institutions and the eResearch community in over twenty countries. It is also the core of several commercial enterprise portal products, reaching colleges and universities in a variety of deployment options and support models."

"The uPortal project has reached new levels of maturity as adoption continues to grow and a new wave of institutions search for campus portal technology. Thanks to on-going contributions from institutional developers and commercial partners, the project has successfully transitioned from primarily grant funded to a self-sustaining open source project. In addition to maintaining the current production versions and working on future releases, the community has recently formalized development plans and a release strategy."

"JA-SIG seeks to expand community guidance for both near-term enhancements and longer-term vision for uPortal. Specifically, input is sought in three areas: 1) Tell us your vision of the ideal higher education enterprise portal; or 2) List requirements, features, standards, or specifications that are important to you; and, optionally, 3) Describe detailed scenarios or use cases illustrating the requirements."

"More information about how to participate can be found at <>. The culmination of this effort will be available on the JA-SIG wiki and presented at the June 4-6 JA-SIG Conference during Community Source Week in Vancouver, British Columbia."

New blog sheds light on digital images

April 27, 2006 - "TASI has launched a blog - the TASI Lightbox - to provide the latest news and a forum for discussion on all aspects of digital images."

"Staff at TASI – the JISC-funded Technical Advisory Service for Images – have been keeping an eye on developments in digital imaging for many years, and since January have been using the blog to keep track of current news. The blog has now been made public and topics that can be read about and discussed include digital cameras, images in teaching and learning, scanners, image resources and repositories, software, and copyright...."

"...If you have an RSS news feed reader, you can also subscribe to the TASI Lightbox feed to automatically receive the latest entries."

For more information, please see <>.

National Archives Information Security Oversight Office Releases Audit on Withdrawal of Records from Public Access

April 26, 2006 - "Today Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein and Director of the Information Oversight Office (ISOO) J. William Leonard announced the results of the audit in a report entitled, "Withdrawal of Records from Public Access at the National Archives and Records Administration for Classification Purposes.""

"This 28-page audit report focused on the re-review efforts undertaken since 1995 by agencies that believed certain records at the National Archives were improperly made available to the public because they contained classified national security information and had not been declassified under proper authority. The audit found a number of unrelated efforts to identify such records, which resulted in the removal of at least 25,315 publicly available records. The audit concluded that only 64% of the sampled records met the standards for continued classification."

"The audit, ordered by the Archivist, was in response to complaints from researchers who had reported to ISOO that many of the documents withdrawn from public shelves had been previously published and according to the researchers did not appear to warrant withdrawal for national security concerns."

For more information, including a link to the entire audit and background materials, please see the full press release at <>.

CrossRef Surpasses 20 Million DOI Mark

April 26, 2006 - "CrossRef, the citation linking service, announced today that over 20 million content entities had been registered in the CrossRef system since its inception in early 2000. The majority of these Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) are assigned to online journal articles. However, over 1.6 million DOIs are assigned to conference proceedings and books, at the chapter as well as title level."

"CrossRef hit the 10 million DOI mark back in January of 2004, after roughly four years in operation. Since then, the rate of growth in DOI creation across the scholarly publishing community has accelerated considerably, with the next 10 million DOIs being created and registered in just over two years."

For more information, please see the full press release at <>.

Library of Congress, British Library to Support Common Archiving Standard for Electronic Journals

April 19, 2006 - "To help ensure long-term access to electronic journals, the Library of Congress and the British Library have agreed to support the migration of electronic content to the NLM DTD standard, where practicable. The libraries hope that their advocacy of migration to this standard will help ensure long-term access to electronic journal content."

"In the world of e-journals, many publishers and authors are already using or plan to use this standard, from the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The advantage of using this standard is that it defines the way in which electronic journals should be structured and creates a uniform, well-defined and easily accessible information resource."

"Access in perpetuity to information sources is a key mission of major libraries. This long-term access is necessary for both print and electronic materials. In the print world, cataloging standards are well established. However, for digital materials, these standards are still evolving. By converging on a particular standard, in this case the NLM DTD (, content distributors are helping to ensure long-term preservation and access to their materials."

For more information, please see the full Library of Congress press release at <>.

Society for Scholarly Publishing Announces Travel Grant Recipients

April 18, 2006 - "The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) announces the first ten recipients of funding available through the new travel grant program, which supports travel to and attendance at the SSP Annual Meeting for students of publishing and information science, and early career publishing professionals in the first three years of employment."

"The following individuals were selected from a highly competitive group of applicants:
Student Travel Awards:
Eli Guinnee, University at Buffalo
Jim Lacy, Dominican University
Emily Pinneo, Wayne State University
Tracy Powell, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Sheri Webber, Florida State University"

"Early Career Travel Awards:
Sean Beppler, Haworth Press
Omar Acevedo Gorrín, University of Puerto Rico Press
Von Totanes, University of the Philippines
Betsy Truax, The University of Arizona Press
Sarah Williams, Institute of Physics Publishing"

"Awardees will be paired with mentors who hold senior management positions within SSP member organizations. Mentors will help grantees plug into the educational and networking opportunities available at the Annual Conference, which will be held June 7-9, near Arlington, VA. For details, visit the SSP website,"

LITA names winner of 2006 Kilgour Award

April 18, 2006 - "Ching-chih Chen, professor at Simmons College, is the winner of the Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology for 2006. OCLC (Online Computer Library Center, Inc.) and the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association, sponsor the award."

"The award was established to honor the achievements of Frederick G. Kilgour, the founder of OCLC and a seminal figure in library automation. The award is given to a person who has amassed a significant body of research in the field of library and information technology. Particular recognition is given to research which results in a positive and substantive impact on the publication, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information."

For more information, please see the full press release at <>.

ISO/IEC 21000-6 (MPEG-21 Rights Data Dictionary) launched

April 17, 2006 - "The International DOI Foundation announces the launch of the web site for the MPEG-21 Rights Data Dictionary (RDD) – formally, ISO/IEC 21000-6. This dictionary provides the basis for a resource to create widely understood, consistent meaning for Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems and other systems requiring semantic interoperability of terms. The RDD is publicly available."

"The RDD specification is intended to support the ISO MPEG Rights Expression Language and other systems requiring semantic interoperability. It provides a set of standard meanings to enable different communities to exchange precise information. Rights are complex and many metadata schemes are already in use; the deployment of an interoperable and standard dictionary provides a solution to cope with this real-world diversity. The MPEG RDD is a realisation of the concept of semantic interoperability evolved from the indecs (interoperability of data in e-commerce systems) project...."

"...The ISO/IEC 21000-6 Rights Data Dictionary is now available at the web site <>."

For more information, please see the full press release at <>.

Copyright 2006 © Corporation for National Research Initiatives

Top | Contents
Search | Author Index | Title Index | Back Issues
Workshop Report | Clips & Pointers
E-mail the Editor