D-Lib Magazine
The Magazine of the Digital Library Forum
September 1995

Clips and Pointers

The National Information Standards Organization (NIS0) has announced the proposed ISO standard for Citations to Electronic Documents (DIS 690-2). According to the notice in [email protected], the proposed standard describes "how to create references to electronic monographs, databases and computer programs, electronic serials, electronic bulletin boards, and email;" prescribes "an order for the elements of a reference;" and establishes "conventions for the transcription and presentation of information derived from the source electronic document." Copies of the proposed standard are available for $35 per copy from:

NISO Press Fulfillment
Telephone: 800-282-6476 or 654-2512
Fax: 301-567-9553

Comments may be sent to NISO at [email protected] or mailed to: NISO, 4733 Bethesda Avenue, Suite 300, Bethesda, MD 20814. The comment period closes November 15, 1995.

NISO is a private not-for-profit organization, accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and devoted to developing standards that affect libraries, publishers, and information service providers. ANSI maintains a home page (http://www.ansi.org/home.html) and has recently created a page devoted to the Information Infrastructure Standards Panel (IISP) (http://www.ansi.org/iisp/iisphome.html). IISP is contained within the National Voluntary Standards System and has been created to facilitate development of standards critical to the National Information Infrastructure (NII) and the Global Information Infrastructure (GII).

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has established the Digital Library Technology (DLT) project to support development of new technologies that facilitate networked, electronic access to the agency's data (http://dlt.gsfc.nasa.gov/). The project's home page includes descriptions of and links to existing projects, demonstrations (The Digital Studio), pointers to related Information Infrastructure Technology and Applications (IITA) activities associated with remote sensing data and to related applications (e.g., using satellite data to track endangered species), and points of contact.

The Centre for Information Technology Innovation (CITI) is a public laboratory in Quebec that was established in 1985 to conduct research on workplace automation systems (http://www.citi.doc.ca:80/Citi-Mosaic/Citihome/Home.html). Recently, the centre's mission has focused on collaboration processes that are mediated by information technologies. This has resulted in several research progams and projects that are relevant to digital libraries research. Among these are the Adaptive Information Systems Program, which deals with heterogeneous data sharing, content, and thesauri; Computer-Aided Translation; Networked Cultural Information Systems; Performance Support Systems Program, which includes intelligent agentry; Technology and Society, which includes a project investigating interfaces for the visually impaired; and Work and Technology, which includes a project in patient records management. Each program area contains descriptions of individual projects, identifies researchers including points of contact, and lists partner organizations.

The Edinburgh Engineering Virtual Library (EEVL) is a collaborative project to build a free, World-Wide Web interface to a catalogue of online engineering information resources for the higher education and research community in the United Kingdom (UK) (http://eevl.icbl.hw.ac.uk/ or http://www.hw.ac.uk/libWWW/eevl/eevlhome.html) It is similar in concept to BUBL (Bulletin Board for Libraries [http://www.bubl.bath.ac.uk/BUBL/home.html]), SOSIG (Social Science Information Gateway [http://sosig.esrc.bris.ac.uk/Welcome.html]), and OMNI (Organising Medical Networked Information [http://nimsn41.nimr.mrc.ac.uk/OMNI/]). Resources added to the EEVL database will be selected, catalogued, classified, and subject-indexed by experts to ensure that only current, high-quality resources are included. Although EEVL will collaborate with similar services in the USA and Europe, its emphasis will be on UK resources, and the project will work closely with UK-based engineering professional institutions.

As well as providing access to resources, EEVL will encourage the creation and provision of new engineering resources, and will offer assistance to non-networked engineering organisations for this purpose. An important part of the project will be to disseminate and promote awareness of the Gateway amongst UK higher education institutions with emphasis on the user-friendliness of the EEVL service.

The project began in August 1995, and by February 1996, a database of core resources will be in place. The next stage will be to develop a pilot system to test the service with a cross-section of potential users. By January 1997, the service will have been developed to an operational level. Documentation (user guides, flyers, publicity material) will be widely distributed throughout the UK higher education community. Promotional/training sessions will be held at selected sites. An update service, probably email based, will be developed.

EEVL is one of 30 projects under the Electronic Libraries Programme (http://ukoln.bath.ac.uk/elib/) managed by the Joint Information Systems Committee (http://www.niss.ac.uk/professional/jasper/intro.html) on behalf of the Higher Education Funding Bodies in the United Kingdom.

For additional information concerning EEVL and its partners, contact: [email protected] or http://eevl.icbl.hw.ac.uk/. (Contributed by Roddy MacLeod, Heriot-Watt University)

The National Oceangraphic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is one of the sponsors of the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) Project (http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/toga-tao/home.html), which relays oceanographic and surface meteorological data in real time from 70 moorings in the Tropical Pacific Ocean via the Argos satellite system. These data are then re-transmitted world-wide to oceanographic and meteorological centers via the Global Telecommunication System. The project is supported by an international consortium, which includes the United States, France, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Among the resources at the site are an overview of the project (http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/toga-tao/overview.html); points of contact; full texts of papers and lists of related publications; pages devoted to El Niño; ftp sites providing access to TAO data; and display software, which enables end-users to display data from the TAO buoys in real time (http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/toga-tao/taows.html).

In support of the European Earth Observation System (EEOS), a collaboration between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission (EC) together with their Member States and other concerned European organizations, the EC has created the Centre for Earth Observation (CEO), which is a programme of work leading to the development of applications of Earth observation data that fulfill the specified information requirements of researchers and other users. CEO is in its second of three phases (feasibility; pathfinder, and design and implementation). CEO maintains a home page (http://ceo-www.jrc.it/), which contains background and current documents, demonstrations, and pointers to European and US data sources, and supports forms-based searching of their own pages as well as on-line resources CEO has identified.

The World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) (http://www.wcmc.org.uk/index.html) offers information services on global, environmental issues, with particular emphasis on biodiversity. Among their projects is compilation of information in geographical information system (GIS) format from heterogeneous, international sources, which are stored, managed, and manipulated through a user interface called the Biodiversity Map Library (BML). Examples of the output may be viewed on-line (http://www.wcmc.org.uk/data/maps/bml.html).

The Monticello Electronic Library (MEL) is a joint project undertaken by the Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET), a non- profit membership organization serving over 700 libraries, and the Southeastern Research Universities Association (SURA). With assistance from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), MEL has organized a series of workshops in support of three of the project's initiatives: to provide regional acess to state and local government information; to expand use of university information; and to improve access to special collections and archives. Both the public information and the special collections components of MEL maintain electronic sites; see http://www.solinet.net/pip/pubinfo.shtml for an introduction to SOLINET's Public Information Project and http://www.solinet.net/sesca/sesca.shtml for an introduction to Southeast Special Collections (SESCA) Project. A copy of the original proposal is included in the Public Information page. For background information on NTIA, see http://www.ntia.doc.gov/.

The University of New Brunswick has announced an experimental user interface, Virtual Pathfinder, that builds conceptually on a familiar reference aid (i.e., a short introductory bibliography, guide to the Literature, or "pathfinder") but takes advantage of on-line tools to enhance users' access to existing print and networked resources (http://www.lib.unb.ca/vp.html). Comments designer Stephen Sloan, "Once I discovered that the Stanford Web gateway allowed me to embed preconfigured searches in the HTML code, adapting that ideas to a pathfinder came very quickly." The "Pathfinder" is in fact a perl program that assembles an HTML document based on a subject selected by the user. It permits users to run searches against the University's catalogue using a Z39.50 compliant search engine, and offers access to WebCrawler and a list of discussion groups.

In June, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) established the experimental NASA Technical Report Server (http://techreports.larc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/NTRS), which permits users to search collections of abstracts and technical reports maintained by the agency's centers and programs. The service presently covers thirteen collections.

The National Science Foundation's National MetaCenter for Computational Science and Engineering maintains Computational Science Highlights, an on-line, searchable, multimedia collection of some 10,000 project descriptions and reports (http://www.sdsc.edu/MetaScience/welcome.html) These reports cover a broad range of scientific disciplines.

San Diego Supercomputer Center, Silicon Graphics, Inc., and Template Graphics Software, Inc. sponsor the Virtual Reality Modeling Language repository (http://sdsc.edu/vrml/), which is hosted by the San Diego Supercomputer Center. In addition to demonstrations and other information, the site maintains a list of current projects and proposals (http://sdsc.edu/SDSC/Partners/vrml/research.html). Each entry in the list includes a synopsis of the project or proposal, a link to a more complete description, and a hyperlinked point of contact.

IFLANET, the electronic service of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, is facilitating the international dissemination of digital library research through the support of a couple of initiatives. A Digital Libraries Web page (http://www.nlc-bnc.ca/ifla/services/diglib.htm) is being maintained to provide links to important documents, organizations, research and projects. Other related WWW pages on the IFLANET WWW site (http://www.nlc-bnc.ca/ifla/) include pointers to resources about cataloguing electronic resources, resource-sharing, copyright, and information policy. DIGLIB is a moderated list for digital libraries research, discussion, and project announcements. Interested individuals can subscribe by sending the message "subscribe diglib first_name last_name" to:

[email protected]

WWW access to list commands and archives are also available at:


Contributions and suggestions are welcome. Please direct electronic correspondence to: [email protected]. Contributed by Terry Kuny, IFLANET Administration)

The Library of Congress has inaugurated periodic reports on the National Digital Library program (http://lcweb.loc.gov/ndl/per.html). They contain news and information on the Library's progress.

The White House Information Infrastructure Task Force (IITF) Report on Intellectual Property and the National Information Infrastructure is available at http://www.uspto.gov/web/ipnii/.

Copyright © 1995 Corporation for National Research Initiatives

D-Lib Forum |  D-Lib Magazine