Volume 7 Number 10
If You Couldn't Be There
This issue of D-Lib Magazine presents reports on two recent major digital library conferences: the First Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL 2001) and the 5th European Conference on Digital Libraries (ECDL 2001) . I had the good fortune to attend both conferences and to hear keynotes and papers presented upon which three of this month's articles are based (those of Kahle et al., Boyack et al., and Witten et al.).
In spite of my best intentions, I never seem to find the time to read all the conference papers I know I should read, even if they are online and freely available to me. But at a conference, I find myself freed from distractions and can become totally immersed in the topics and discussions taking place.
Furthermore, nothing else equals the personal and professional networking opportunities conference attendance provides. Being able to ask questions, immediately follow up on points that might have been unclear in the written paper, or digress from the information presented to related areas of thought are all possible and of inestimable value.
But that's always been true of attending conferences. What has changed is that ten years ago, if you were unable to attend a conference in person, you had to wait a year or more for the proceedings to be published. Now, within a month or two, many conference proceedings are online, accessable either at no charge or by subscription.
If you weren't able to attend JCDL 2001 or ECDL 2001, I hope you will find the conference reports in this issue of D-Lib Magazine -- and online access to the conference proceedings -- provide the next best thing to being there.
 JCDL 2001 papers are available in full text at the JCDL web site (http://www.acm.org/jcdl/past-event-conf.shtml) hosted by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Portal, and abstracts of ECDL 2001 papers are available at (http://link.springer.de/link/service/series/0558/tocs/t2163.htm) hosted by Springer-Verlag.
Copyright © 2001 Corporation for National Research Initiatives
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