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1 Feb 2003














Cross Currents No 13 Feb 2003 

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 Access & the cultural infrastructure; AHDS

CONVERGENCE Convergence seminar; articles on convergence and collaboration 

DIGITAL RESOURCES DARE; DigiCULT; Dspace; information access; Information Environment Service Registry; Internet Scout Project portal Toolkit; Joint Conference on Digital Libraries; Journal of Digital Information Management; NLA Electronic Information Resources Strategies; NINCH Good Digital Practice


INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IP on the Internet; Creative Commons projects

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT KM is an empty buzz word; measuring KM; Open Knowledge Initiative

RECORDS & ARCHIVES NSW government compliance report

STANDARDS Preservation Metadata schema; Z39.50 Next Generation Initiative

THEATRE & CIRCUS National Australian Circus & Physical Theatre Conference

USERS & USAGE Counting online usage; IMLS Major User Study; Pew Internet study.




Access and the Cultural Infrastructure

The Center for Arts & Culture has published a paper by Allison Brugg Bawden on Access and the Cultural Infrastructure, which examines issues involving access to culture through public participation, traditional media, and new media, particularly the Internet. Her subsidy and research recommendations include (1) increasing the grant budgets of federal cultural agencies by returning endowments to 1992 levels in real times (ie a 100% budget increase); (2) increasing support for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; (3) creating a Digital Opportunity Investment Trust;.(4) maintaining funding for the Technology Opportunities Program; and (5) supporting a National Endowment for the Humanities Survey of Public Participation in the Humanities. Her recommendations on regulations include: (1) supporting cultural organisations’ full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act; (2) supporting the expansion of the E-Rate Program; and (3) providing open access to broadband. Web:   . 

Arts & Humanities Data Service

The latest newsletter of the Arts and Humanities Data Services has information on putting historical data sets on the web, OCR, reviews of three new Guides to Good Practice, PADS Designing Shakespeare and VADS JISC-funded Learning and Teaching projects, and PICTIVA, which is producing tools and resources to enhance the delivery of visual arts image collections. Web:

A new Performing Arts Data Service website was launched in December. Changes include a completely new delivery system for PADS scholarly digital resources to facilitate cross searching, a preview of Designing Shakespeare, a collection of nearly 4000 images of Shakespeare in performance, and of the British Artists Films Database, developed by Professor David Curtis at the AHRB Centre for British Film and Television Studies. Web:


The European Library Automation Group (ELAG), an organisation with 450 members in 27 countries, and the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie have published proceedings of  Archives, Libraries and Museums (ALM) Convergence: the 24th Library Systems Seminar, edited by Maria Witt. ISBN 2-86842-146-6. Contents: ELAG, the VisualCat Cataloguing Client; BIBLINK; NEDLIB; profiling ALM applications; OCLC's CORC project (the Cooperative Online Resource Catalog); SBN virtual catalogue: a cross searching implementation; the Louvre websites; ONE-2; Bath & danZIG profiles, and access to information on the museums through the networks. Workshop reports include: Digital Libraries; Towards a common conceptual model for ALM; Introduction to the ICOM / CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model, Library consortia system management; Cultural Heritage, Archiving Electronic Documents; Identification of electronic resources; Design of an intelligent library system: some lessons learned from Web searching experience. And there are national progress reports from Albania, Belarus, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands [ADLIB Information Systems and other projects], Norway, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain,  Switzerland, and Ukraine, as well as an annotated  bibliography by Maria Witt. [Source: DIGLIB]

Recent articles on convergence and collaboration, published in Advances in Librarianship 26 (2002) include: Collaborative Digitization: Libraries and Museums Working Together by Nancy Allen and Liz Bishoff (pp 43-81); The Humanities Computing Center and Library Collaboration in New Scholarly Communication Processes by Jennifer Vinopal (p 91-126); and High Touch or High Tech: The Collaborative Digital Reference Service as a Model for the Future of Reference by Diane Kresh. (p149-173). Publisher: [Source: Erik Arfeuille; New Technologies in Libraries - Citations Week 47]



DARE: Digital Academic Repositories

The Dutch government has given a grant of 2 million euros to establish Digital Academic Repositories (DARE), a collective initiative by universities and other organisations to make research results digitally accessible. The Koninklijke Bibliotheek [Royal Library], the Koninklijke Nederlandse Academie van Wetenschappen [Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences] and the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) [Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research] are also involved. The SURF Foundation, an ICT partnership organisation for higher education and research in the Netherlands, will coordinate the project, which will involve linkages with international developments like the Open Archives Initiative. Web: under News. [Source: FOS]


The DigiCULT December newsletter is devoted to digital asset management systems for the cultural and scientific heritage sector. It highlights the fact that ‘a cultural heritage organisation's ability to harvest, re-use and realise the value of its assets, will only ever be as good as the mechanisms that it can put in place for storing and retrieving assets from the media vault’. Web: [Source: DIGLIB]


HP Labs and MIT Libraries have released version 1.0 of DSpace, an open source digital asset management software platform that enables institutions to capture and describe digital works using a submission workflow module; distribute an institution's digital works over the web through a search and retrieval system; and store and preserve digital works over the long term. Designed with a flexible storage and retrieval architecture adaptable to a multitude of data formats and distinct research disciplines, DSpace will be used by MIT communities to meet their individual needs and manage the data submission process. Ultimately, MIT hopes to extend the scope of DSpace by offering and encouraging its adoption at other research-intensive institutions. DSpace is closely tied to other significant MIT digital initiatives, including MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW), which recently was launched with the goal of making all MIT course materials available online. Web:  [Source: FOS]

Information Access

Joan F. Cheverie, in The Changing Economics of Information, Technological Development, and Copyright Protection: What Are the Consequences for the Public Domain (Journal of Academic Librarianship, [28(5) 2002:p 325-331) summarises the impact of issues on the multifaceted principle of information access in libraries and similar institutions as follows: ‘The changing economics of information are incrementally negating the principle of access by allowing content owners to control access through restrictive licensing agreements, expanded legal protection and penalties, and technological measures that ultimately eliminate fair use and gouge the public domain while, simultaneously, undermining the traditional mission of libraries and other institutions of learning who engage in education, research, and the preservation of our cultural and scientific heritage.’  [Source: Current Cites]

Information Environment Service Registry

A JISC-funded project that aims to form a machine-readable catalogue of electronic resources available in the information environment. The idea is to enable portals and other services to discover which resources are available and appropriate for their users, through a machine-to-machine interface. The descriptions within the Registry will include technical information on how to access the resources as well as descriptive information about the services themselves. A stakeholder analysis will soon be taking place to determine the requirements of potential users of the service. The project is a joint venture of UKOLN at the University of Bath, the Cheshire Development Team at the University of Liverpool and MIMAS at the University of Manchester. Web: [Source: FOS]

Internet Scout Project Portal Toolkit 

The Internet Scout Project has released version 1.0 of the Scout Portal Toolkit. The open source software package, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, allows groups or organisations to develop a portal online without making a big investment in technical resources or expertise.  Features include: MySQL database with Dublin Core compliant metadata default fields; cross-field searching (advanced search); metadata field editor, which gives portal administrators the ability to add, delete, or disable a variety of metadata fields; resource comments by users; intelligent user agents; resource quality ratings by users; suggested resource referrals (recommender system); users with disabilities accessibility; support for RSS channel export and the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) Protocol for Metadata Harvesting 2.0; and discussion forum options. For more information on SPT and its features, a demo and software: The November issue of D-LIB Magazine has an article on the software at  [Source NINCH].

Joint Conference on Digital Libraries

The Joint Conference on Digital Libraries has called for papers for its next meeting in May 27-31, 2003, Houston, Texas, USA. The Conference is jointly sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery and its special interest groups on information retrieval, hypertext, hypermedia and the Web, the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society (IEEE Computer Society) and Technical Committee on Digital Libraries (TCDL). Participation is sought from the full range of disciplines and professions involved in digital library research and practice, including computer science, information science, librarianship, archival science and practice, museum studies and practice, technology, medicine, social sciences, and humanities. Web:  [Source: NINCH]

Journal of Digital Information Management

The Journal of Digital Information Management is a peer-reviewed journal addressing the following areas: information overload; e-content management; web publishing; data management; information management; information search and retrieval management; Web information retrieval; knowledge management; digital rights management; digital information archiving; information architecture and taxonomy; digital information literacy; intranet, extranet and portal management; Information clustering; digital libraries; reference linking; information extraction; virtual information world  It publishes original research papers, ongoing research, notes, editorial, events, and news, and reviews. Web:  [Source: DIGLIB].

NLA Electronic Information Resources Strategies

The National Library of Australia has completed a revision of its Electronic Information Resources Strategies and Action Plan. [Source: DIGLIB]. Web:

NINCH Good Digital Practice 

The National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage has released the first edition of the NINCH Guide to Good Practice in the Digital Representation and Management of Cultural Heritage Materials. The guide has been created by practitioners working in different disciplines and media in museums, libraries, archives, the arts and academic departments and is partly derived from interviews at digitisation programs in the US. Contents: Project Planning; Selecting Materials; Rights Management; Digitisation & Encoding of Text; Capture and Management of Images; Audio/Video Capture and Management; Quality Control and Assurance; Working With Others; Distribution; Sustainability: Models for Long-Term Funding; Assessment of Projects by User Evaluation; Digital Asset Management; Preservation; Appendix A: Equipment; Appendix B: Metadata; Appendix C: Digital Data Capture: Sampling References Bibliography Interview Reports and Interview Instrument Web: [Source: NINCH]


Darryl Macer, associate professor at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, has proposed that researchers from various disciplines, including genetics, sociology and history, meet next year in Japan to discuss the development of a database containing all human ideas. Macer anticipates nine categories of ideas, all connected to larger belief systems, which differ among various groups. The result is likely to be a three-or four-dimensional map of human ideas. [Source: Wired News 25 Nov 2002; Shelf Life no 83]



IP on the Internet: A Survey of Issues

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has published the report Intellectual Property on the Internet: A Survey of Issues. After a brief introduction describing general trends affecting the evolution of the Internet, the survey addresses the evolving digital economy and the migration of intellectual property to the Internet, as well as the broader questions raised for intellectual property by the impact of information and communications technologies in the digital environment. The survey focuses on recent developments in the traditional fields of copyright, trademarks and patents, as well as domain names, and progress in private international law and alternative dispute resolution. It also explores particular concerns that face developing countries in e-development, and outlines the ways in which WIPO is addressing these various issues. Web [Source: NINCH]

Creative Commons Projects

Creative Commons has announced two new projects to enable creators of intellectual property to have more direct control over the rights and uses of their creations. Its Licensing Project version 1.0 will build licences that will help you tell others that your works are free for copying and other uses on certain conditions. It is designed to complement the phrase "All rights reserved" and the © symbol. Creative Commons wants to help copyright holders send a different messages such as "some rights reserved" and "no rights reserved." The Founders' Copyright Project will make content available under the same initial term as the framers of the United States Constitution did - 14 years. Web: [Source: NINCH]



KM is empty buzz word

Information Research Vol 8, No 1 takes an intentionally critical look at knowledge management – described by the editor as a conceptually empty buzz word. The main difficulty with knowledge management, he says, is semantic. We ought to drop the word 'knowledge' from all work in this area and talk about 'information management' or 'information resource management' or 'information technology management' when that is what is meant, and use 'intellectual capital', 'intangible assets', 'organizational change', 'human resources management' and other phrases when we are using 'knowledge management' as a synonym for any of those things. .

Contributors: Frank Miller (if we talk about 'meaning' and 'message', the notion that 'knowledge' can be managed will disappear); France Bouthillier and Kathleen Shearer (although the concepts of tacit and explicit knowledge, knowledge sharing and knowledge technologies are often used, they are not clearly defined, but, 'dismissing KM as simply a management fad could be a missed opportunity to understand how knowledge is developed, gained and used in organizations, and ultimately in society.'); Paul Hildreth and Chris Kimble (knowledge cannot be captured, codified or stored and the only way forward is to acknowledge that knowledge resides in people); Suliman Al-Hawamdeh (tacit knowledge is the main challenge for any idea of 'knowledge management); Tom Wilson (there is little to support the notion that anyone is doing anything that amounts to managing knowledge); Len Ponzi and Michael Koenig (a more detailed analysis needs to be undertaken to determine whether knowledge management is more than an unusually broad- shouldered fad). Web:

Measuring KM

Kingsley Martin in Show Me the Money: Measuring the Return on Knowledge Management in Law Library Resource Xchange: (4 Nov 2002) proposes KM measurement tools like Return on Investment (ROI) and Cost of Information (COI) for use in evaluation of knowledge-sharing strategies, based on the practice of law firms. ROI estimation can be derived by measuring the rate at which this technology is converted into information assets. [ROI = Present Value X Incremental Gain - Total Cost of the Project]. COI = Document Preparation Cost divided by Reuse Rate. Document Preparation Cost has three elements: (1) bibliographic coding (document number, author, title, physical description, etc.); (2) Subject analysis and headings; and (3) Search and retrieval engines. Web: [Source: Current Cites]

Open Knowledge Initiative

The Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI) is continuing to develop architectural specifications for educational environments and, at a recent Educause conference, provided updates on MIT's Stellar system, Stanford University's CourseWork and the University of Michigan's CHEF project, as well as on the OKI service APIs to facilitate various kinds of interoperability. OKI also recently announced the formation of the OKI Developer's Network, composed initially of a discussion forum and developer mailing  list, hosted by the IMS Global Learning Consortium (  It has also continued to coordinate its work with other leading e-learning specification organizations, including IMS, the Advanced Distributed Learning Network (ADL), and the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF). Web: [Source FOS]


The Audit Office of NSW has released its Report on the Compliance Review on Aspects of the State Records Act 1998 at Assessments of individual agencies compliance with aspects of the Act are contained in The Auditor General's Report to Parliament for 2002 Volume Five at [Source: Aus-archivists]



National Library of NZ Preservation Metadata Schema

The National Library of New Zealand has released its Preservation Metadata Schema. The schema is ‘one of a range of activities at the Library aimed at incorporating the business processes related to collection of digital material into the Library's core business’. Web: [Source: Aus-archivists]

Z39.50 Next Generation Initiative

The ZING Initiative (Z39.50 International Next Generation), under the auspices of the Z39.50 Maintenance Agency at the Library of Congress, has announced Version 1.0 of SRW and CQL. SRW (Search/Retrieve for the Web) is a web-service-based protocol that aims to integrate access across networked resources and promote interoperability between distributed databases by providing a common platform. The underpinnings of the protocol are formed by bringing together more than 20 years experience from the collective implementers of the Z39.50 protocol with recent developments in the web-technologies arena. SRW features both SOAP and URL-based access mechanisms (SRW and SRU respectively) to provide for a wide range of possible clients. It uses CQL, the Common Query Language, which provides a powerful yet intuitive means of formulating searches. The protocol mandates the use of open and industry-supported standards XML and XML Schema, and where appropriate, Xpath and SOAP. The SRW Initiative recognizes the importance of Z39.50 (as currently defined and deployed) for business communication, and focuses on getting information to the user. It provides semantics for searching databases containing metadata and objects, both text and non-text.  Building on Z39.50 semantics enables the creation of gateways to existing Z39.50 systems while reducing the barriers to new information providers, allowing them to make their  resources available via a standard search and retrieve service.

The ZING, SRW, and CQL  home pages are at:,, and  The Z39.50 Maintenance Agency home page is at [Source: CNI]



National Australian Circus and Physical Theatre Conference

The 5th national conference will take place in Adelaide, South Australia. March 13 - 15, 2003 during Come Out 2003, Australia's Festival for Young People. Further information: Kellie Nicol, phone  (08) 8346 5735 or email: [Source: Artmedia]



Counting Online Usage

COUNTER (Counting Online Usage of NeTworked Electronic Resources), a multi-agency project whose objective is to develop a single, internationally accepted, extendible Code of Practice that will allow the usage of online information products and services to be measured more consistently, has released a Code of Practice on its website. The Code specifies requirements that vendors must meet to have their online usage reports designated COUNTER-compliant. Release 1 will focus on journals and databases. Other categories of publications - such as e-books – will be added in due course. .

COUNTER is supported by the international community of librarians and publishers and their professional organisations, including the Association of American Publishers, Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, Association of Research Libraries, Association of Subscription Agents and Intermediaries, Joint Information Systems Committee, National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, National Information Standards Organization. The Publishers Association, International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers and United Kingdom Serials Group Web: [Source: FOS]

IMLS Major User Study

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has invited proposals for a project to conduct a large national study of the information needs and expectations of users and potential users of online information, and of the impacts of having such information.  The study will include a survey of user needs, which should include both current and potential user segments for online information, including students at all levels, teachers, parents, researchers, and other categories of adults. IMLS wants the study to provide data and recommendations about content that should be made available online to meet information and enterprise needs of the public, using broad definitions of both information and public; and mechanisms and resources necessary to efficiently and effectively connect users to that content. Funding of up to US$500,000 has been allocated. Web: http;// [Source: [NINCH].

Using Online Information

A new Pew Internet and American Life Project report reveals that more Americans than ever now use the 'Net to obtain info on government services, shopping, and healthcare’ Indeed, there is ‘abundant evidence that the Internet is now the primary means by which many people get key information’ and ‘Most expect to find key information online, most find the information they seek, many now turn to the Internet first.’ 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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