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20 April 2004














Cross Currents No 20 April 2004 

A digest of cross sectoral information management events, issues and ideas in organisations, libraries, archives and museums, with special emphasis on arts and the humanities.


ARTS & CULTURE The Humanities and Open Access. LIBRARIES Cataloguing Tools on the Internet | Digital Divide | Information Society Portal | Informed Librarian Online | National Libraries of Europe MUSEUMS Digitising Art Museums | Intellectual Property Guide | Museum Archive Guidelines RECORDS & ARCHIVES Electronic Records in Archives | NSW State Records Act | Preserving Australia's Multicultural Documentary Heritage | Records Classification

RESEARCH & SCHOLARLY INFORMATION Access to Research Data from Public Funding | Dspace | Eprints Handbook | ERIC STANDARDS & SYSTEMS Dublin Core Metadata | Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records | Institutional Repository Software | Metasearch Initiative | Open Archives Initiative | Open Archival Information System | Semantic Web Standards | Taxonomies for Websites USAGE & USERS Two Pew reports  


The humanities and open access

Peter Suber, in the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, 2 February 2004, examines the reasons for the slow adoption of open access in the humanities: (1) journal prices are much higher in science, technology, and medicine -the STM fields- than in the humanities - 10-20 times higher; (2) much more STM research is funded than humanities research; (3) on average, humanities journals have higher rejection rates (70-90%) than STM journals (20-40%); (4) there is more public demand for research on, say, genomics than Greek grammar; (5) preprint exchanges meet more needs in the STM fields than in the humanities; (6) demand for journal articles in the humanities drops off more slowly after publication than demand for articles in the STM fields; (7) humanities journals often want to reprint poems or illustrations that require permission from a copyright holder; (8)  journal articles are the primary literature in the STM fields, but in the humanities, journal articles tend to report on the history and interpretation of the primary literature, which is in books. Web:


Cataloguing Tools on the Internet

Magda El-Sherbini, in Selected Cataloging Tools on the Internet (Journal of Internet Cataloging Vol 6 no 2, 2003: pp.35-90) takes the form of an annotated lists under the following sections: authority management and subject headings tools; cataloguing tools by type of materials; dictionaries, encyclopedias, and place names; listservs and workshops; software and vendors; technical service professional organisations; and journals and newsletters. Web: Journal of Internet Cataloging via [Source: New Technologies in Libraries]

Digital Divide

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in partnership with a number of US national civic groups, has released Toward Equality of Access: The Role of Public Libraries in Addressing the Digital Divide, a report asserting that US public libraries have helped close the digital divide by providing free, public access to computers and the Internet, particularly for people without access at home or work. Yet despite widespread awareness of and support for library-based public access computing, libraries face significant challenges in sustaining and improving this service. In 1996, only 28 percent of US public library systems offered public Internet access. Today, more than 95 percent of library buildings offer public access computing and 14 million Americans regularly use these computers. This benefit has especially reached certain socioeconomic groups that are less likely to have access at home or work. African Americans and Hispanics are twice as likely to use library computers as Asian Americans and whites. Families making less than US$15,000 annually are two to three times more likely to rely on library computers than those earning more than US$75,000. Although Internet use has increased substantially in the United States, nearly half of all American households don't have computers or Internet access at home. Traditionally disadvantaged groups, including African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and those with lower income and educational levels, remain among the least connected. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, since 1997, has invested more than $250 million to provide libraries with public access computers and software, while simultaneously providing training and technical support for librarians. However, despite the fact that the total number of visits to public libraries increased by more than 17 percent between 1996 and 2001, libraries face serious challenges as they continue to provide access to digital information. They often lack sufficient resources and technical support to upgrade computer hardware, software and Internet connections. Librarians and staff members also must seek continued technology training to assist patrons and troubleshoot equipment. Severe budget cuts nationwide have caused some libraries to cut operating hours, lay off staff members or close altogether. Web: [Source: DIGLIB]

Information Society Portal

The Observatory of the Information Society: an International Gateway presents news and documents from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization relating to ethical, legal & societal challenges of the information society. The site may be searched or browsed under virtual libraries, cybercrime, freedom of expression and intellectual property rights and other headings. Web: [Source: Librarians Internet Index]

Informed Librarian Online

Provides a monthly compilation of the most recent tables of contents from over 275 library and information-related journals, e-journals, magazines, e-magazines, newsletters and e-newsletters. Requires free registration. Web:

National Libraries of Europe

Britta Woldering, in The European Library: Integrated Access to the National Libraries of Europe (Ariadne Issue 38, January 2004), describes the findings of the recently completed EU Project The European Library, focusing on technical solutions and metadata development. Web:


Digitising Art Museums

Simon Tanner, in D-Lib January 2004, reports that a survey commissioned by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will examine market realities and opportunities for US art museums in relation to digitised collections. The survey will explore the cost and policy models adopted in arriving at pricing structures for delivering surrogates of unique or rare items as digital objects and the thresholds that determine the point when an organisation charges for the sale of content and other rights to their digital holdings and the reasons given for such charges. Further, it aims to discover the key factors affecting the willingness of museums to collaborate and enable digital content to be shared. The results are intended to provide a snapshot of the fast-evolving digital art market. The study is an extension of previous work commissioned by the Mellon Foundation, Exploring Charging Models for Digital Cultural Heritage, which looked into pricing policy within the UK. and Europe. The results of the previous study are linked from the KDCS website at <>.

Intellectual Property Guide

Diane Zorich, in Developing Intellectual Property Policies: A How-To Guide for Museums, jointly published by the National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH) and the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN), discusses the benefits available to museums when they develop the proper policies to manage their intellectual property. Web: Intellectual Property section of the CHIN site at [Source CNI-Announce]

Museum Archive Guidelines

The Society of American Archivists has published Museum Archives Guidelines, offering advice in the establishment, development and maintenance of repositories of records in museums. Web: [Source: Aus-Archivists].


Electronic Records in Archives

The International Council on Archives’ report, Electronic Records: A Workbook for Archivists, provides guidelines for more efficient management, preservation and provision of access to archives. It describes tactical approaches to records management in electronic office systems, including networked environments.

The International Records Management Trust has prepared a study on behalf of the ICA documenting the current status of electronic records globally. The study identifies several challenges regarding the preservation of electronic records' authenticity, particularly in developing countries. These include the low status of recordkeepinging and lack of recognition of records/archives as evidence; the absence of technical standards and professional training; and generally weak legislative, organisational and policy frameworks in developing countries. The IRMT study made 11 recommendations, now under consideration by ICA's regional branches and professional committees. Web: [Source: ShelfLife]

NSW State Records Act

State Records NSW is reviewing the State Records Act 1998. Further information, including an issues paper, is available at [Source: Aus-archivists]

Preserving Australia's Multicultural Documentary Heritage

The National Library of Australia has published Preserving Australia's Multicultural Documentary Heritage: A Starter Kit. The kit has been compiled with culturally and linguistically diverse community groups in mind - those wishing to start an archival collection, and those wanting to further develop an existing collection. It consists of 13 fact sheets covering such areas as collection management and preservation, disaster preparedness, and making the collection accessible. Three existing multicultural archival collections are described as case studies. Sample forms and documents, useful in managing a small archive, are also included for adaptation to meet local needs. The kit also includes sections on how to identify and apply for grants, other resources and specialist terms. Web: [Source: Aus-archivists]

Records Classification

Standards Australia’s IT21-09 sub-committee has released a discussion paper about issues in records management classification. The paper is available from the ASA  web site at [Source: Aus-archivists]


Access to Research Data from Public Funding

The OECD Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy at Ministerial Level has released Declaration on Access to Research Data From Public Funding, involving governments in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany,  Ireland, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other countries. The declaration is a commitment to work towards the establishment of access regimes for digital research data from public funding in accordance with the objectives and principles of  openness, transparency, legal conformity, formal responsibility, professionalism, protection of intellectual property, interoperability, quality and security, efficiency, and accountability. Web: [Source: SOAF]


Mary Barto and Julie Harford  Walker, in Building a Business Plan for DSpace, MIT Libraries' Digital Institutional Repository (Journal of Digital Information vol 4, no 2, 2003), provide details on the Dspace budget and costs, as well as details on its two components - core services (basic repository functions) and premium services (eg digitisation and e-format conversion, metadata support, expanded user storage space, and user alerts and reports). Core services are free, whereas MIT reserves the right to charge for premium services. Web:  For DSpace Business Plan Project--Final Report to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation see [Source: Current Cites]

Eprints Handbook

Les Carr’s The Eprints User's Handbook, commissioned by the Open Society Institute, is aimed at eprint managers and users and includes suggestions for implementing a systematic institutional self-archiving policy. Web: [Source: SOAF]


The US Department of Education is replacing its ERIC clearinghouses and streamlining its services. The AskERIC service has been replaced by the Educator's Reference Desk, which provides access to AskERIC's 2,000 lesson plans, 3,000 links to online education information, and 200 question archive responses. The Reference Desk search interface to the ERIC Database provides access to over one million bibliographic records on educational research, theory, and practice. Web: [Source: ShelfLife]


Dublin Core Metadata

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published ISO 15836:2003, Information and Documentation-The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, providing a core set of 15 metadata elements for cross-domain information resource sharing. A PDF file of the ANSI/NISO version is available from the National Information Standards Organization website: For additional information about Dublin Core metadata, including user guides, tools, training materials, and working group implementation activities, visit the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative website: [Source: DigLib]

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records

Barbara Tillett in What is FRBR? A Conceptual Model for the Bibliographic Universe (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service, September/October 2003) looks at IFLA's data model Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (known as FRBR, pronounced "ferber"). The article is available at FRBR is available at [Source: Current Cites]

Institutional Repository Software

Ryam Crow’s A Guide to Institutional Repository Software (2nd ed, New York: Open Society Institute, 2004), provides an overview of institutional repository software options, including ARNO, CDSware, DSpace, Eprints, Fedora, i-Tor, and MyCoRe. [Source: Current Cites].  Web:

Metasearch Initiative

NISO has formed a team to manage the NISO Metasearch Initiative, led by Jenny Walker of Ex Libris (USA) and Andrew Pace of North Carolina State University. Three specialist teams representing access management, collection description, and search/retrieve, will be led by Mike Teets (OCLC), Juha Hakala (National Library of Finland) and Sara Randall (Endeavor Information Systems) and Matt Goldner (Fretwell-Downing Informatics). Web: [Source: CNI-ANNOUNCE}

Open Archives Initiative 

Roy Tennant, in The Expanding World of OAI (Library Journal, 15 February 2004) focuses attention on the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) as a standard for interoperable metadata emerging from the Digital Library community and as example of how standards support innovation.

Open Archival Information System

Brian Lavoie’s The Open Archival Information System Reference Model: Introductory Guide is available as the first of a series of Technology Watch reports commissioned by the Digital Preservation Coalition. Web: [Source: To: DIGLIB]

Semantic Web Standards

The World Wide Web Consortium has announced final approval for the Resource Definition Framework (RDF) and Web Ontology Language (OWL). In the context of the Semantic Web agenda, RDF and OWL are aimed at enabling content producers and libraries to base future products and services upon technologies that will prove more complete asset management, integration, sharing and reuse of data on the Web. Source W3C

Taxonomies for Websites

As reported in Federal Computer Week 20 Jan 2004 and Government Computer News 21 Jan 2004, all US federal agencies are required by the 2002 E-Government Act to develop overall taxonomies of their Web sites by the end of 2004. To cut development time, agencies can modify taxonomies already developed by others, such as those identified at the Taxonomy Warehouse at [Source: ShelfLife]


The Pew Internet Project report, America's Online Pursuits: The Changing Picture of Who's Online and What They Do  (22 December 2003), says that information-seeking on the Web is up by 50% or more since 2000, with more than 80% of Internet users reporting they had  sought answers to specific questions on the Web. The biggest jump was a 59% increase in those hunting for health information online - an activity that's dominated by female users. Meanwhile searches for information on news events - an activity dominated by male users - were up 50% and searches for political news and information grew by 57% between 2000 and 2002. US Government website use jumped 56% during the same time period. More than half of all Internet users reported using the Web for school research or online training, and 61 million Americans reported using the Web for job-related work or research in 2002. Web: [Source: ShelfLife]

Another Pew Report, Consumption of Information Goods and Services in the United States (23 Nov 2003), says that there are very different patterns of online information consumption among age and economic groups. The three groups most likely to subscribe to online content are the Young Tech Elites (average age 22), the Older Wired Baby Boomers (average age 52) and the Wired Generation Xers (average age 36). The study also identified Wired Senior Men (average age 70) as "ardent, aging news hounds." This affluent group is relatively small, but its members are frequent news gatherers online, particularly political news. Among the other three heavy user groups, Older Wired Baby Boomers place the largest emphasis on information gathering, rather than some of the more avant-garde activities such as music downloading that dominate younger users' time. Seventy-two percent have done work-related research online, and 88% have gone online to get news, with about half doing so on any given day. This group tends to be dominated by males (60%), and have higher incomes and more education than the average American. Wired GenXers are split 50-50 on gender, and they see the online world as a way to get things done. Sixty-seven percent have done work-related research online and while they often go online for news, only about a third do so on a typical day. Thirteen percent of both GenXers and Young Tech Elites have paid for online content. And while Young Tech Elites are avid surfers, they are also the most likely to download information and post it online. In addition, 44% have created content for the Web, compared with 19% for all users. Web:

This issue of Cross Currents compiled by Paul Bentley


The Wolanski Foundation would be grateful for feedback on the scope, format and content of this bulletin..


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