Volume 8 Number 4
A Word to the Web Wise
Over the past decade, great progress has been made in digital library (DL) research and development. An almost unimaginable amount of information is now openly available over the Web to increasingly large numbers of people around the globe.
Public and private organizations, commercial and non-commercial, have invested heavily to move forward the goal of easy access to, and retrieval of, networked information albeit, while attempting to balance such access with the need for information security, rights management, privacy, and a long list of other societal and ethical concerns that create restrictions to the accessibility of certain kinds of information.
Leveraging the research and development already completed or in progress, organizations are engaging in collaborative projects to tackle such things as preservation of digital information, metadata interoperability, digital rights management, resource authentication, and others.
Last month, I attended the WebWise 2002 Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The conference was co-sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and Johns Hopkins University, and had as its theme: Building Digital Communities. Presenters described many successful collaborative projects. Funding for these projects came from various sources. Some collaborative projects were funded by IMLS through the National Leadership Grants for Library-Museum Collaboration, and others were funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of the National Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education Digital Library (NSDL) program and the Digital Libraries Initiatives Phase II (DLI-2) program. A few of the projects received funding from both IMLS and NSF.
Difficult as some of the technological problems faced by projects were, the conference presenters agreed that much more challenging was overcoming organizational differences that surfaced during the collaborations. While working together to reach their common project goals, collaborators had to satisfy the needs and missions of their separate constituencies. Presenters shared not only their successes, but also the lessons learned as they tried to overcome these organizational differences.
As in 2000 and 2001, the WebWise 2002 Conference Proceedings will be published in an upcoming issue of First Monday (http://firstmonday.org/index.html), an open access, peer-reviewed journal on the Internet. Those who are planning collaborative projects might do well to make time to read this year's WebWise Proceedings.
Copyright © 2002 Corporation for National Research Initiatives
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