The Wolanski Foundation Project

What's new

30 June 2005














Cross Currents No 23 June 2005 

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 & HUMANITIES ARC Centre of Excellence in Cultural & Media Industries | Arts Research in Progress or Planned Across Australia | Commercialisation of Research in the Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences | Creative Industries | Cultural Planning Guidelines | E- resources for Research in the Humanities & Social Sciences | Music and Musicians Pronouncing Dictionary | Orchestras | Performing Arts Centres | Value, Indicators & Statistics | Visual arts and Crafts  DIGITISATION Digitisation Framework for Your Organisation

KNOWLEDGE & INFORMATION MANAGEMENT Australian Business Use of IT | Australian Government Information | Australian PM's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council | Australian Research and Experiment | Canadian Research Strategy | CARL Metadata Harvester LIBRARIES Information Literacy | Metalis | Statistics | Virtual Reference Services

RECORDS & ARCHIVES Macro Appraisal of Records & Archives | Sound Archivists | Website Management and Disposition SYSTEMS & STANDARDS Metadata | Monitoring Developments in Technology | OAI Rights Specification | SRW/U and OAI | Wikis | XML-Based Digital Image Library


ARC Centre of Excellence in Cultural & Media Industries
Queensland University of Technology has secured funding of $7 million (2005-2010) from the Australian Research Council to establish a cultural and media studies centre in its creative industries precinct. An additional $3 million will be provided by the university and industry. Collaborating organisations include the Australian National University, Swinburne University of Technology, University of Wollongong, Charles Darwin University, Edith Cowan University, Australian Film, Television and Radio School, Australasian CRC for Interaction Design, Australian Film Commission, Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Salvation Army, State Library of Queensland, Australia Council for the Arts, Australian Museum, National Museum of Australia and Queensland Museum. The Centre of Excellence aims to “drive the development of Australia’s capacity to maximise the national economic and cultural benefits of digital content industries.” It will integrate research across a range of disciplines to develop “new modes of access and distribution for user-led innovation.” [Source: Australian Research Council].

Arts Research in Progress or Planned Across Australia
The Australia Council has published the 20th edition of its Arts Research in Progress or Planned Across Australia. Web:

Ballets Russes project
The University of Adelaide has secured a grant of $369,718 (2005-2008) from the Australian Research Council for a research project, The Impact and Legacy of Colonel de Basil's Ballets Russes on Australian Cultural Life and Artistic Practice. Colonel de Basil’s company toured Australia between 1936 and 1940. Australians were overwhelmed by the company's high-modernist aesthetic, and inspired by the collaborative ideals celebrated in its balletic, theatrical and musical masterpieces. The project will generate a range of scholarly publications, physical and virtual exhibitions, and, notably, performances by the Australian Ballet. Partner organisations include the Australian Ballet and National Library of Australia. Project personnel include Dr MS Carroll, Professor NE Fraillon, Dr MA Potter, and Ms RF Holmes. [Source: Australian Research Council].

Commercialisation of research in the humanities, arts & social sciences
The Council of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences has published Commercialisation of Research in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. The report examines impediments and incentives facing researchers and educators in these fields at tertiary level in Australia. It says that different disciplines face different issues in the process of commercialisation and that there are significant variations in opportunities. For many in the sector, money is not the driving force in commercialisation of their work. Challenges include dealing with unresponsive or ill-equipped university systems, finding the time and resources for commercial engagements, and working within funding and reward systems that recognise only a narrow band of activities. It recommends improvements in university practices to make them more encouraging and supportive of commercial activities, changes in government settings to recognise and reward commercial activities, and development of new programs to equip people working in the humanities, arts and social sciences with the skills to handle commercial activities. Web:

Creative industries
The UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport has released its Creative Industries Mapping Document, updating a previous version published in 1998. It says that the creative industries in the UK generate revenues of around £112.5 billion and employ 1.3 million people. Exports contribute around £10.3 billion to the balance of trade, and the industries account for over 5% of GDP. In 1997-98, output grew by 16%, compared to under 6% for the economy as a whole. Web:
Queensland University of Technology’s Creative Industries Research and Applications Centre (CIRAC) is undertaking a similar three-year study to map creative digital industries in Ausralia. The project will examine, among other things, the impact of digital content and applications on areas such as art, culture. health, education, business services, defence, agriculture and mining industries. Web: [Source: Artbeat].
In the meantime, the Queensland Department of State Development and Innovation has made available a range of publications and tools on the subject, including Creativity is Big Business: A Framework for the Future. The government strategy involves five cross-cutting initiatives under the headings finance, education and skills, innovation, procurement and marketing, to be implemented across six market segments representing 23 industry sectors. The principal mechanisms are cluster leadership and segment groups. Key performance indicators focus on increases, over the next five years, in employment, exports, venture capital, training, utilisation of emerging technologies, products, services, and state image. Web:

Cultural planning guidelines
The NSW Ministry for the Arts and the NSW Department of Local Government have published Cultural Planning Guidelines for Local Government. The guidelines are available at

E-resources for research in the humanities and social sciences
The British Academy’s E-resources for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences reviews: (1) the state of e-resources in a rapidly developing technological context; (2) the ways researchers are using e- and non-e resources; (3) the institutional structure of resource provision for UK researchers; (4) the technical and operational influences on access to e-resources; and (5) the issues that must be addressed to ensure effective and efficient e-resource. It concludes that there is much and varied enterprise, but e-resource and access provision is ad hoc and fragmented, and often too conventional to match ICT possibilities. It recommends that: (1) relevant UK institutions and bodies adopt a coordinated and coherent strategic approach to e-resource provision and access, based on research community needs; (2) e-resource conversion by resource holders pay particular attention to secondary before primary e-provision; (3) all those providing e-resources address means and mechanisms for access from general information discovery systems such as Web engines; (4) the national institutions, funding bodies and library representatives collectively address the development of licensing and fair use protocols for e-resources that balance the claims of providers and users; (5) the national institutions and funding bodies conduct an in-depth analysis of the requirements and options for long-term e-resource curation, preservation and use; (6) higher education and other research institutions ensure that HSS researchers have sufficient access to appropriately-trained technical support staff; (7) HSS researchers actively seek guidance on access to, and provision of, e-resources; and (8) HSS researchers actively promote user community interests to both e-resource funders and providers. Web:

Music and Musicians Pronouncing Dictionary
WOI Radio at Iowa State University has published the 2nd edition of its Pronouncing Dictionary of Music and Musicians, developed by E. Douglas Brown. The guide is available online and as a PDF from
Queensland University of Technology has secured $265,100 from the Australian Research Council for The 21st Century Orchestra: Researching and Developing Sustainable Models. The research project will “investigate and prototype innovations which reinvent the orchestra from its current 19th Century form to one which maintains high quality but resonates with more recent changes in music consumption patterns, musical tastes, performance modes (e.g. immersive), distribution media, and the revolution in instrument design.” Partner Organisations are Creative Media Warehouse, the Queensland Orchestra, and the Brisbane Festival. Project personnel include Professor A Arthurs, Acting Professor JJ Radbourne, and Mr DR Clark. [Source: Australian Research Council].

Performing arts centres
The Australian Research Council has awarded $346,000 (2005-2008) to Griffith University for Sustaining Culture: the Role of Performing Arts Centres. The project will evaluate the roles of major performing arts centres in sustaining culture and encouraging participation, drawing on developments in cultural economics, aesthetics and cultural sociology. It will design tools for gathering qualitative data presently unavailable in Australia and create a model for future studies of Australia's cultural institutions. Partner Organisations are Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Sydney Opera House, Victorian Arts Centre and Adelaide Festival Centre. The project is being led by Professor LK Ferres. [Source: Australian Research Council].

Value, indicators and statistics
The International Federation of Arts Councils and Cultural Agencies has published the discussion paper Statistical Indicators for Arts Policy (July 2004, It says that, even though indicators are not in widespread use in cultural policy, thinking on cultural indicators is now well developed. However, analysis is thwarted by confusion about what indicators are and how they should be used, a lack of quality data, unwieldy frameworks, and vague policy objectives. Coordination is impeded by replication of work worldwide and differences in approaches.
Future development work would benefit from: greater clarity about the nature of artistic activities (why people undertake arts activities and their public and private benefits); greater clarity in the articulation of objectives for cultural policies and in determining the appropriate indicators for measuring performance against objectives; more strategic targeting of development work on cultural indicators, especially the prioritising of a limited number of indicators; and greater communication - and even coordination - between researchers and policymakers involved in developing indicators.
“Improving cultural indicators is not simply about supplying better statistics and undertaking statistical development work: It is also about understanding better the nature of arts activities, improving the articulation of arts policies, and being aware of the interrelationships between data and policy analysis and the impacts that measurement can have on the arts and cultural sectors.”
John Holden, in Capturing Cultural Value: How Culture Has Become a Tool of Government Policy (DEMOS, 2004,, argues that there is now a growing view within the cultural world that new and convincing methods must be found to validate public funding. “The identifiable measures and ‘ancillary benefits’ that flow from culture have become more important than the cultural activity itself: the tail is wagging the dog.” Cultural experience is the sum of the interaction between an individual and an artifact or an experience. Interaction is unpredictable and must be open rather the result of predefined outcomes. He shows how alternative ways of valuing culture are possible by drawing on disciplines as diverse as brand valuation by accountants and the language of sustainability used by the environmentalists..

The British Academy’s That Full Complement of Riches: the Contributions of the Arts, Hamanities and Social Sciences to the Nation’s Wealth (January 2004, concludes that the contributions made by the arts, humanities and social sciences are substantial. These subjects lead to much deeper changes in the way in which policy-makers and others view the world. Such research is important in its own right. It is part of a scholarly function which sustains a strong tradition of analysis and investigation extending beyond the immediate needs of the economy. On the other hand, the disciplines make significant, but under appreciated contributions to the economy, and facilitate wealth creation in a wide range of tangible and intangible ways.
The UK could be better positioned to reap the full benefits of what the arts, humanities and social sciences have to offer. It is illogical and damaging to equate a real return solely with a measurable, immediate economic return. Quantifying the impact on society and the economy is not always straightforward. Broader criteria and less constricted definitions of value-added teaching, scholarship and research areas are essential. It is vital to adapt and embrace a more coherent and wider teaching and research vision, so that the arts, humanities and social sciences are included at the very beginning of strategic thinking on issues related to the future development of the UK’s research and training base.
It recommends that more inclusive concepts, language and terminology be adopted, funding bodies and employers re-examine the basis on which resources are allocated, and that institutional frameworks be reviewed and new bodies or collaborative activities be considered.
In Australia, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with the National Centre for Culture and Recreational Statistics, has embarked on a Heritage and Arts Information Plan to identify statistical priorities locally. [Source: Australia Council Arts RIPPA]

Visual arts and crafts
The University of Wollongong has secured $150,000 from the Australian Research Council for Contemporary Art, Craft and the Audience. The project will address relevant issues, particularly in regional Australia and attempt to develop models for public galleries in programming, presenting and interpreting contemporary work. Outputs will include exhibitions and documentation. Partner organisations are Object (The Australian Centre for Craft and Design) and Museums and Galleries NSW. Project personnel are Professor A Lawson, Mr S Pozel, Ms M Stapleton, Miss DS Merrillees and Mr BW Parkes. [Source: Australian Research Council].


Rose Holley, in Developing a Digitisation Framework for Your Organisation (The Electronic Library, vol 22, no 6, 2004: 518-522), writes on her experience at the University of Auckland Library. Tasks included an inventory of projects, raising awareness, training and re-skilling of staff, developing networks and collaborations, obtaining funding, enhancing the IT infrastructure, strategic planning and writing a digitisation policy. Web:


Australian business use of information technology
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released Business Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2003-04 (cat no. 8129.0). The number of Australian businesses using It has risen from 49% at the end of 1994 to 83% by June 2003. The proportion of business with a web presence has risen from 6% in June 1998 to 23% in June 2003. The proportion of businesses with Internet access has risen from 29% in June 1998 to 71% in June 2003. A strong relationship exists between the size of the business and the likelihood that the business is using IT. Web:

Australian copyright
The Australia/US Free Trade Agreement, which came into force on 1 January 2005, changed the duration of copyright. The new period of copyright duration will be 70 years from the end of the year in which the creator died or the material was first published. There will be no revival of copyright in material in which copyright has expired before 1 January 2005. For further details, see the Australian Copyright Council's Information Sheet G23 Duration of Copyright. Web:

Australian government information
The Australian Library and Information Association, with sponsorship from the National Library of Australia and the National Archives of Australia, held the seminar Digital Amnesia: Challenges of Governments Online on 21 April 2005. Among observations and conclusions: (1) a new set of questions needs to be asked about online services and publications including whether appropriate technology and delivery strategies are being used; (2) service models for resources and e-government services are still in development and need to evolve to meet changing understanding of consumer need and profile; (3) future resource discovery tools are likely to be influenced through the semantic web and these tools will rely on metadata which need to be intelligently and accurately applied; (4) the publishing process needs to incorporate the supply of information for resource discovery to support access and utilise cross linkages; (5) ongoing management of resources is required to prevent link rot, and to ensure that, as organisations change, their resources/publications remain accessible; and (6) the National Library Australia needs to have the right to collect, ensure access to and preserve electronic publications of all Australian government agencies. Web:

Australian PM’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council
The Council was formed in December 1997 as the Australian Governmnent’s principal source of independent advice on issues in science, engineering and innovation and relevant aspects of education and training. The Council consists of ministerial members representing major industries, ex-officio members from about 15 bodies such as the Australian Academy of Science, Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, Australian Research Council, Business Council of Australia and Defence Science and Technology, and members appointed in personal capacity. Professor Iain McCalman, as a humanities specialist, is a member in the latter category. Web:

Australian research and experiment
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has published Research and Experimental Development, All Sector Summary (cat no 8112.0) showing that gross expenditure on R&D has increased by 18% from $10,417m in 1000-01 to $12,250m in 2002-03. With the exception of the state/territory government, which remained steady, all sectors – business, government, higher education, and private non-profit - showed an increase in R&D expenditure compared with 2000-01. Web: http;//

Canadian research strategy
The Canadian Association of Research Libraries has released Towards an Integrated Knowledge Ecosystem: A Canadian Research Strategy. The study looks at Canadian knowledge systems, knowledge and data storage and retrieval, knowledge production and social contract, power and infrastructure within the academy, and intellectual property. It recommends, among other things, that the Canadian Government formulate and implement a National Strategy for Knowledge Dissemination integrated with appropriate government research and development policies, and that it seek to create a more holistic knowledge ecosystem integrated into the research processes. Web:

CARL metadata harvester
The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) has developed a metadata harvester to facilitate searching of CARL institutional repositories. The CARL Metadata Harvester can be found at: Information about the project can be found at:


Information literacy
Stanley Wilder, in Information Literacy Makes All the Wrong Assumptions (The Chronicle of Higher Education vol 51, no 18, 7 January 2005), makes the case that information literacy programs are a bad idea. He suggests an alternative model for librarians as teachers to deepen students' understanding of the disciplines they study." Web:

METALIS is a free web harvester of metadata about papers in library and information Science from several OAI-PMH compliant repositories, including ArXiv, Caltech Library System Papers and Publications, Digital Library of Information Science and Technology, E-Prints in Library and Information Science, and Librarians' Digital Library. Web:

Steve Hiller, in Measure by Measure: Assessing the Viability of the Physical Library (Bottom Line vol 17, no 4, 2004: 126-131), describes an approach at the University of Washington in Seattle, which uses four broad categories and subsidiary measures to clarify the value of spaces in supporting student work in a collaborative teaching and learning environment. [Source: Current Cites]
Stephen Town, in View E-measures: a Comprehensive Waste of Time? (Vine vol 34, no 4: 190-195), part of a special issues devoted to library evaluation, argues that maintaining statistics on the use of e-resources is a waste of time. Numbers only have meaning when their context is fully understood. He praises methods like LibQUAL+ which make satisfaction and experience measures a vital part of overall evaluation. [Source: Current Cites]

Virtual reference
Brenda Bailey-Hainer, in Virtual Reference: Alive and Well (Library Journal 15 January 2005),. says that collaboration is essential to ensure the viability of virtual referenceservices. Sharing costs on a statewide level yields savings on management, training and software licensing. In Colorado, no single library participating in the statewide AskColorado virtual reference service pays more than US$3,000 annually or contributes more than 10 to 12 hours per week of staff time. Services by single institutions, however, can cost from US$6,000 to US$12,000 per year for software and backup services alone. An alternative approach in New Jersey uses individual contractors to provide its QandANJ virtual reference service. Web:
Government Information Online is a national pilot project in the United States that aims to establish a viable model for cooperative virtual information services specialising in government information. Collaborating institutions include public libraries, academic institutions, state library and archive departments. Web:


Macro-appraisal of records and archives
The National Archives of Australia is developing and implementing a strategic policy framework for the macro-appraisal of Commonwealth records to enable it to identify and give appraisal priority to those functions of government that are considered to be of high archival and public accountability significance and allow it to identify and pursue opportunities for the appraisal of multi-agency functions. Macro-appraisal will not replace the need for individual agencies to identify their recordkeeping requirements, or to work with the National Archives to develop records disposal authorities. Web: [Source Aus-archivists]

Sound archivists
The Australasian Sound Recordings Association and the National History Association of New Zealand have combined to present the Sound Archiving and Oral History Conferences at Christchurch from 29 June to 3 July 2005. The ASRA component, Sound Ecology: Saving Our Sound Environments, will explore the interface between composers and various landscapes and cultures, musical criticism, sustainable digital infrastructures and partnerships as a means to preserve and make sound accessible. Web: and

Website management and disposition
The National Archives and Records Administration has published guidelines on responsibilities and requirements for managing US federal Web sites. A section on disposition schedules for Web records addresses the types of records to be covered in Web schedules, how these schedules might be structured, and the factors to be considered in determining how long records should be retained. Available from:


The Research Libraries Group has published Descriptive Metadata Guidelines for RLG Cultural Materials (Menlo Park, CA: Research Libraries Group, January 2005. Web;
The Western States Digital Standards Group has published Western States Dublin Core Metadata Best Practices version 2.0. Web:
Lynne Howarth, in Enabling Metadata: Creating Core Records for Resource Discovery (International Cataloguing and Bibliographic Control, vol 34 no 1, 2005: 14-17), discusses responses to a review conducted by the IFLA Cataloguing Section Working Group on the Use of Metadata Schemas, and outlines the next steps by the Working Group. The review focused on the need to rethink and articulate more clearly the concept of the "core record" framework. Web:

Monitoring developments in technology
The Cyberinfrastructure Partnership, a joint venture of the San Diego Supercomputer Center and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, has launched Cyberinfrastructure Technology Watch (CTWatch) to assist in defining, creating, and deploying a national cyberinfrastructure for science and engineering research. Web: [Source: CNI]

DigiCULT’s Core Technologies for the Cultural and Scientific Heritage Sector (Technology Watch Report 3, January 2005) examines six core technologies: open source software, natural language processing, information retrieval technologies, location based systems, visualisation of data, and telepresence, haptics and robotics. The first report (TWR1, 2003) examined customer relationship management systems, digital asset management systems, virtual reality, human computer interface technologies, smart tags and labels, and games. The second report (TWR2, 2004) examined application service models, the XML family of technologies, cultural Agents and Avatars, mobile access technologies, rights management and payment technologies, and collaborative mechanisms and technologies. Web:

OAI rights specification
The Open Archives has released guidelines for conveying rights expressions about metadata in the OAI-PMH framework. No new rights expression language has been created. Instead, the specification provides a mechanism to include existing and future XML rights expressions. Web:

Robert Sanderson, Jeffrey Young and Ralph LeVan, in SRW/U With OAI: Expected and Unexpected Synergies (D-Lib Magazine, vol 11, no 2, February 2005) explore synergies between the Web Services replacement for Z39.50, Search and Retrieve via the Web (SRW) and the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) Protocol for Metadata Harvesting. They conclude that OAI's lower barrier to entry and specific goal make it easy for anyone to implement, whereas SRW is somewhat more complicated. (It aims to reproduce the essential functions of Z39.50 in facilitating distributed searching rather than harvesting). Apart from the typical inverted pyramid metasearch model, there are also great benefits to be had from implementing OAI as a gateway interface to an SRW server. Web:

Emma Tonkin, in Making the Case for a Wiki (Ariadne January 2005), considers wikis in the context of emerging technologies. It is important to specify user requirements, capabilities and intended community before implementation. There are many factors that conspire to reduce their usefulness. Wikis differ in all sorts of detail, so it is generally worth test-driving a selection of possible software packages before coming to a decision. Web:

XML-based digital image library
Naicheng Chang, in Data manipulation in an XML-based digital image library (Program, vol 39, no 1, 2005:62-72), gives the case study of the Ching Digital Image Library, built on a three-tier architecture using an SQL relational database, Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) and Extensible Markup Language (XML). [Source: New Technologies in Libraries].

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..


 About us |  What's new |  Site map | Searching  | Managing  | Learning  |  LibraryResearch 

  Contact us | Home  

© 2005 The Wolanski Foundation Project 

 Email web manager.  URL:

Page last updated: 30 June 2005