Web Editorial: Introduction to Issue 18

The web editors, Bernadette Daly and Philip Hunter, introduce Ariadne issue 18.

This is sadly the last of the parallel print and web publication of Ariadne - for the moment, at least. Ariadne will however continue as a web magazine. The print edition has finished in some style, with a publication twice the size of all earlier copies. Attendees at the eLib "Information Ecologies" conference in York earlier this month already know this, since we arranged for advance copies to be available for that event. The Web version is correspondingly large, as might be expected, though it doesn't quite rival the scale of the web version of issue 5. We wish to thank both John MacColl (Production Manager) and Lyndon Pugh (Managing Editor) for their excellent contributions to the Ariadne enterprise - John (one of its prime movers) since its inception in late 1995, and Lyndon since the beginning of 1997, and for the efforts of the support staff in Abertay during the same period (principally Alison Kilgour and Alison Ure up to the spring of 1998, and Alison Ure to date).

Lyndon Pugh supplies this issue's cover article, Teams and argues that we might have higher expectations of the human element in the organisational structures of the upcoming "information society" than is reasonable. John Kirriemuir, former editor of Ariadne, supplies us with eLib: Was it good for you?: a personal view of the eLib programme. One small non-eLib related detail in his article has become invalid since submission: the university which he takes to task for its SCR admissions policy has now opened its doors to its rank and file :-). Stephen Pinfield, who contributed one of the best presentations to the "Information Ecologies" conference (finding an Old Testament precursor of the "stuff" issue), here writes about
Hybrid Libraries for Ariadne, describing the role of Hybrid Libraries and Clumps in the development of coherent electronic library services. In "Knowledge Management", Sheila Corrall asks if this is a new phrase in place of 'information management', or a new concept altogether. Chris Batt contributes I have seen the Future and it Works: as Director of Libraries and Museums in Croydon, a particularly well wired locale, his article is worth close attention. He examines the nature of the Information Society and asks: is it just a marketing fad or a real social revolution? He also defines some of the indicators of change along the route, and some examples of those changes in action. Don Revill, formerly Head of Information Services at Liverpool John Moores University, contributes Looking Back in Anger in which he argues that little has changed over the years. The problems the library profession faced in the 50s and 60s are still with us. and recognition of the librarian's contribution to the educational process is still not common. "Before" and "after" photographs are included.

The users of services - all too easy to forget as the wired grapple with the technical issues involved - get some airtime with Internet Detective: BA students get on the case: Emma Worsfold and Debra Hiom, introduce their "Internet Detective" online tutorial, and BA students from the final year Information Management BA at Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh, review the site. There is also news about BIDs in BIDS adopted by ingenta On the 21st September, the University of Bath concluded an agreement to sign over the ownership of BIDS to a new organisation known as ingenta ltd (definitely lower-case), while still retaining a 24.9% share.  Terry Morrow looks at the implications of the change, and reviews the latest developments in the services offered. Bernadette Daly looks at a variety of electronic publications as part of the research phase in the delivery of a new Web magazine, in Launching an Electronic Magazine: an overview of value-added features and services. Kelly Russell, a panel member on digital preservation issues at the York conference, explores the main deliverables of the CEDARS project: the development of recommendations and guidelines, plus practical, robust and scaleable models for establishing distributed digital archives.

Among the regular columns we have Down Your Way, in which Ariadne visits the University of Abertay's brand new Library. The Metadata column, written for this issue by Ann Chapman, Michael Day and Debra Hiom, considers the issues around Cataloguing Theory and Internet Subject-based Information Gateways: how comparable are library cataloguing concepts and the creation of ROADS "Templates"? In Minotaur this month, "When computer knows best?" - Harold Thimbleby criticises the urge to upgrade and gives a wholly personal view of standard word-processing software. Back on Planet SOSIG Stuart Macwilliam, the SOSIG section editor for Sociology, gives an overview of the resources likely to be found in his section. This is preceded by news of some 'mutual mirroring' across the Atlantic, involving SOSIG and the Internet Scout Project.

For public libraries wishing to provide their users with access to the Internet there are a number of difficult policy decisions that need to be made. For example, do they provide Internet access for free? If they charge how much do they charge? Do they use filtering software? How long can people use the Internet terminals for? What level of services (e.g. e-mail or not) will they provide? Policy decisions of this type are currently being faced across the country by public library managers who themselves may only just becoming familiar with networked services.Sarah Ormes and David Potts write about shed light on the what exactly the Networked Policy Taskgroup does. (A version of this paper has previously appeared in Library Technology, Vol 3 (5) November 1998) in Public Libraries Corner:

In Search Engines, Walter Scales responds to Dave Beckett's article in issue 16; Brian Kelly in Web Focus corner examines "The Role of a Web Editor" and asks, does "web editor" means Unix guru or an HTML coder? For tech-heads there is What is a URI?, where Ian Peacock explains the concept in plain English.

There are also a number of at the event reports, including Stephen Emmott on SGML, XML and Databases, a one day meeting on held in the Brunei Gallery of SOAS in London. Plus Michael Day reports on Metadiversity, a Biodiversity conference in the States interested in the uses of Metadata.

Enjoy the issue.

Author Details

Bernadette Daly
Ariadne Web Editor
University of Bath
Email: b.m.daly@ukoln.ac.uk

Philip Hunter
Ariadne Web Editor
University of Bath
Email: p.j.hunter@ukoln.ac.uk

Date published: 
Saturday, 19 December 1998
Copyright statement: 

This article has been published under copyright; please see our access terms and copyright guidance regarding use of content from this article. See also our explanations of how to cite Ariadne articles for examples of bibliographic format.