Web Magazine for Information Professionals

Newsline: News You Can Use

Ariadne presents a brief summary of news and events.

JISC publishes three important documents

The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) promotes the innovative application and use of information systems and information technology in Higher and Further education across the UK.

The JISC has published three new documents. These are the draft 3-year Collection Strategy, the Collections Development Policy and the Final Report from the JCEI (JISC Committee for Electronic Information) Charging Working Group

Collection Strategy

The JISC will continue to procure and make available on a subscription basis a collection of high quality electronic resources of relevance to learning, teaching, and research in higher and further education. In addition the JISC will expand its activities to create high quality electronic resources through digitisation and development of discovery tools for important collections residing in institutions. The full document can be read at: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/dner/collections/strategy.htm

Collections Development Policy

This document is the Collections Development Policy for the Distributed National Electronic Resource (DNER) and covers four key stages in the lifecycle of DNER collections: identification of potential resources, their selection as collections, evaluation of the impact of collections, and resource de-selection or renewal. This policy is a working document that will change over the next three years as collecting practices for the DNER develop and as more volatile selection criteria (e.g. agreed standards) change. The full document is available at: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/dner/collections/coldev_policy.htm

Charging Policy

This is the final report from the Charging Working Group established by JISC’s Committee for Electronic Information (JCEI), to review the current arrangements for dataset charging and to make recommendations on a revised charging model, to better suit the needs of small institutions and FE Colleges. The full document is available at: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/pub01/charging.html

Comments are invited on the Strategy and Development Policy document by the end of August as detailed in JISC Circular C2/01 C3/01 available on JISC website.

[August 2001]

RNIB Techshare 2001 Conference

The Techshare 2001 conference is for professionals who have an active interest in technology and the role it plays in learning, work, and in society at large.

We are currently calling for papers and if anyone would like to submit a paper then there is more information available on the techshare website at: http://www.techshare.org.uk.

[August 2001]

Launch of eBookstore

London & New York-Taylor & Francis Group plc, the academic publishers whose imprints include Routledge, Garland Science, Psychology Press and Europa, are pleased to announce the launch of the Taylor & Francis eBookstore http://www.eBookstore.tandf.co.uk

eBook buyers are able to browse, select and download from an initial list of over 400 of the company’s most popular titles. By September, the list will expand to include over 1,000 titles, and it is expected that more than 2,500 titles will be available by the end of the year.

Three eBook formats are available at http://www.eBookstore.tandf.co.uk:

- Microsoft Reader (for PC and Pocket PC use only)
- Adobe eBook Reader (for use on PC and Mac)
- Mobipocket (for use on Palm Pilot, Psion, PC)

Commenting on the eBookstore, Christoph Chesher, Sales Director, said:

“We at Taylor & Francis are delighted to have our eBookstore open. It is too early to predict demand but I am encouraged by the increasing interest for academic material. As content providers we have to make our information as accessible as possible, and this is the next step in a strategy that will ensure that our growing eBook list is available to the widest possible audience, including through a number of independent e-retailers.”

Roger Horton, Managing Director, added:

“We feel that this will have an overwhelmingly positive impact on our core audience, the academic marketplace, and we are convinced that many will both experiment and adopt this new medium .”

In order to encourage Taylor & Francis’ core audience-consisting of academics, students, and general readers of intellectual non-fiction-to experiment with this new medium, a number of leading titles are available on the site for £1- £10.

Building on two centuries’ experience, Taylor & Francis has grown rapidly over the last two decades to become a leading international academic publisher, with offices in the US, UK, Scandinavia, Singapore and India. The Taylor & Francis Group publish over 800 journals and around 1,300 new books each year, with a backlist in excess of 20,000 titles.

[July 2001]

Review draft of TEI Guidlines Released

The Text Encoding Initiative Consortium (TEI-C) today announced release of the official review draft of version 4 of Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange. The third edition, known as “P3”, has been heavily used since its released in April of 1994 for developing richly encoded and highly portable electronic editions of major works in philosophy, linguistics, history, literary studies, and many other disciplines.

The fourth edition, “P4” will be fully compatible with XML, as well as remaining compatible with SGML (XML’s predecessor and the syntactic basis for P3). XML-compatible versions of the TEI DTDs have been available for some time by means of an automatic generation process using the TEI “pizza chef” on the project’s website at http://www.tei-c.org/pizza.html. The first stage in the production of P4 has been to remove the need for this process; accordingly, a preliminary set of dual-capability XML or SGML DTDs was made available for testing at the ACH-ALLC Conference in New York in June (now available from http://www.tei-c.org/P4X/DTD/). The next stage was to apply a series of systematic changes to the associated documentation, which is now complete: the results may be read at http://www.tei-c.org/P4X/index.html (HTML format) or http://www.tei-c.org/P4X/reviewdraft.pdf (PDF format)

Over the summer, it is planned to carry out a complete review of this text, aiming to treat XML equally with SGML throughout. Detailed work is required to revise the treatment of character sets and writing systems, as well as in rewriting the chapter “A Gentle Introduction to SGML”, and is already underway.

The TEI Consortium solicits assistance in the review of all other parts of the new draft. For information on how you can participate in this review, please go to http://www.tei-c.org/TEI/P4X/Status/

Comments are due to the editors by mid-September, and it is hoped to complete the first publication of the new draft in time for the first TEI Members Meeting scheduled for November of this year.

E-Book 2001

Join us November 5-7 in Washington, DC for E-Book 2001!

If you’re wondering how to incorporate E-Book technology into your life, your work, or your organization, youll find much to think about at the 4th Electronic Book Conference. Sponsored by NISO (http://www.niso.org and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, E-Book 2001 brings together the key players in the E-Book world: the technology experts (hardware, software, DRM), the content providers (publishers and aggregators, authors and agents), and the users (educators, librarians, readers) to examine how this new technology can change the way we think about books. Conference exhibits will feature the top companies supporting E-book technologies. This is a conference that will expand your boundaries. Check out the conference web site to learn more about the program and to register: http://www.itl.nist.gov/div895/ebook2001/ If youre interested in exhibiting, get more details at: http://www.niso.org/ebook00.html or contact Jane Thomson, email: jthomson@niso.org

Nordic Interactive Conference 2001 - Digital Visions and User Reality

31 October 2001 to 3 November 2001, Copenhagen, Denmark

NIC 2001 is a biannual conference initiated by Nordic Interactive, a new pan-Nordic network for leading Nordic IT research institutes and companies in interactive digital technology. The first significant landmark of the network is NIC 2001, featuring entrepreneurs and visionary leaders from industry and academia, artists and performers as well as a number of international keynote speakers. The conference provides a rich set of formats for interaction, presentation and discussion of the latest results and developments. NIC 2001 presents a four-day program consisting of five tracks, tutorials, informal workshops, expo (also open to the public), art gallery, job fair and a competition for postgraduate and doctoral students.

Why NIC 2001?

There has been a growing focus on research and development as the core competencies of the Nordic countries. The Nordic countries occupy unique research and development positions in areas closely connected to development and use of interactive digital technology, especially in the areas of user centred design, social context relations and mobility. At NIC2001 we aim at bringing the Nordic capacities in this broad and multidisciplinary field together, to present and discuss contributions from scientists, artists, developers, business, educators, and computer enthusiasts. Conference topics will relate to science, education, games, design, communication, interaction, work, daily living and society. Leaders and visionaries from industry, academia, research and government will discuss the key technology advances that will impact our daily lives now and in the future, and how that may change the way we interact.

The goal of NIC 2001 is to provide a highly interactive and engaging forum, where attendees can meet to exchange and discuss ideas. We wish to strengthen the Nordic relations and networks, to consider the form, role, and impact of future interactive digital technology. The conference will present some of the latest technological developments, and discuss issues and challenges facing the Nordic R&D environment in this area, as we move into the 21st Century. Our speakers, panellists and presenters are all deeply involved in various areas of research, development, creation and use of interactive digital technology.

Conference themes are:

1. Living in intelligent environments
2. Nomadic computing
3. Learning in a distributed world - future pedagogical practices
4. Touch, hear, see
5. - To be announced!

Online registration and the preliminary conference programme is now available at http://www.nic2001.org

E-mail enquiries: secr@nic2001.org

Website: http://www.nic2001.org

[July 2001]

Research Division of LASER joins LITC, South Bank University

When LASER transforms into the Laser Foundation this autumn its substantial portfolio of research activities will be moving to LITC, the long standing centre at South Bank University undertaking Research, Consultancy, Training and Publishing for the Information Profession. Robin Yeates, LASER’s Assistant Director, Research and Development and previously a Senior Researcher at LITC, will also move to South Bank.

LASER’s current research ventures include COVAX, a project in the European Commission’s IST Programme and Longitude, an EARL/CIPFA project funded by Resource and CAPITAL, a BLC&PP project, analysing coverage, retention and future partnerships in monographic provision. LASER is also a partner in several successful NOF digitisation projects.

LITC has a portfolio of active research chiefly funded by the JISC and the European Commission. Among the important active research is EASEL a project concerned with educational metadata and interoperability; and Angel looking at authentication and the successful integration of services across library resources and online learning. Among other research interests are alerting agents, information security, digitisation and copyright, content management and e-libraries. LITC is a publisher for the profession with among others the journal Vine and LTWorld. LITC also organises events such as the recent E-Books 2001 conference, and offers consultancy services.

John Akeroyd, Director of LITC comments that “There are many natural synergies between the two research units. We both have a strong interest in metadata, interoperability and e-learning, for example. Not surprising as these are key issues that the whole information profession needs to address. At the same time LASER’s research expands the scope of our activities.”

Robin Yeates commenting on the merger said: “It was a natural move to join up LASER’s and LITC’s research. The profession needs more cross sectoral research and the merger will further extend LASER’s activities across public libraries, museums and archives to encompass LITC’s greater stress on HE and Health. Our research will be for the benefit of the whole information profession”.

Andrew Cox remains Associate Director of LITC and Centre Head.

For any queries please contact:- Frances Hendrix, E-mail frances@laserfoundation.org.uk. Please note that this e-mail is not available until 1st October - until then please use frances@viscount.org.uk.

[August 2001]