D-Lib Magazine
February 1998

ISSN 1082-9873

Clips & Pointers

CSTB Forms Study Committee on Intellectual Property Rights and the Emerging Information Infrastructure

Jerry Sheehan and Alan Inouye
National Research Council
Washington, DC

The Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) has announced formation of a study committee that will assess issues and derive research topics and policy recommendations related to:

  1. the nature, evolution, and use of the Internet, federal networks, and other interconnected networks, and

  2. the generation, distribution, and protection of content (with various structures and formats) accessed via networks.

The members will examine the technological issues affecting intellectual property protection for databases and copyrightable materials, and provide recommendations for reconciling evolving technologies with the legal issues raised in protecting intellectual property, with an emphasis on balancing the interests of publishers with those of the research, education, library, and federal networking communities. The committee roster is not yet finalized, and its members are expected to have significant input into the content of the committee's activities. This statement is, therefore, preliminary; it describes the considerations that have led to the organization of the committee and outlines its proposed activities. The first meeting of the committee will take place February 20-21, 1998.


Policy Context

The distribution of increasing amounts of data and information[1] in various formats using electronic networks -- the essence of an information infrastructure -- compounds the intellectual property challenges presented by digitization. It raises questions about principles and mechanisms for copying, viewing, buying, selling, and otherwise obtaining and using information that may be subject to various forms of intellectual property protection. Network distribution makes possible new forms of publishing. In particular, it enables every citizen -- including people who have been only information consumers -- to be a publisher and, in combination with other information technology trends, it enables more and more people to generate information in multiple media (e.g., audio and video as well as text) to share with others. Network distribution also drives new uses for information, new ways of doing business (e.g., network distribution of information that complements products distributed in other channels), and a proliferation of third-party information providers. It promotes growth in the volume of information distributed, as well as shifts in the mix.

These trends are beginning to change the economics of information generation, distribution, ownership, and use. They raise questions about access to information, compensation, liability, and enforcement of rights and responsibilities -- as well as where those rights and responsibilities are vested (with service providers, users, publishers, libraries, and so on). The direct linkage of information creators or owners with users may change the roles and mix of parties and institutions, including those of information creator, publisher, librarian/archivist, and individual and organizational users, which will affect innovation as well as revenue streams.

The range of industries, organizations, and individuals affected by intellectual property law and policy is increasing. There is, for example, growing concern in the research community, given its role in the creation, discovery, and analysis of information, and the fact that more research-relevant information is available than is published formally. As a result, individual researchers, universities and other research organizations, and funders of research all confront intellectual property issues. The education and library communities also have concerns: the discovery, communication, analysis, and creation of information are fundamental to education; the organization, storage, location, and provision of information are critical to libraries. The experiences in research, education, and libraries with content that may be subject to copyright or other forms of intellectual property protection underscore the need to consider mechanisms and policies that promote users' as well as proprietors' concerns, the complexities of related tradeoffs, and the difficulties of specifying the "public interest" in this arena. These challenges also are manifest in the context of government agencies, whose missions typically involve information dissemination. The National Performance Review and other forces promoting electronic governance encourage information dissemination and access, and intellectual property regimes can support or distort those efforts. Meanwhile, both public and private sector entities are increasing their resort to network-mediated electronic commerce. All interests operate in a global environment, making it necessary to frame the problems and the solutions in international terms.

Although many experts question whether existing intellectual property law adequately protects the creators, users, and distributors of information, the issue of what changes to make is more difficult to resolve. There has been a widely held (but unproven) assumption that the difficulty of protecting the rights of information owners will discourage distribution by networks, constraining the growth of the information infrastructure. Congress has been considering legislation proposed by the Administration to modify the Copyright law, as well as to create a separate a new sui generis legal regime for databases; similar legal changes have been proposed internationally through the World Intellectual Property Organization. These legislative proposals have been highly controversial, in part because of their assumptions about technology and in part because of their implicit emphasis on proprietor interests relative to other (e.g., user) interests. Further, long-standing contention arises from different interpretations of the foundation for intellectual property rights in the Constitution. One factor complicating both market and policy development is asymmetry in the information held by the parties; for example, in a world of multiple media and electronic republishing, publishers may have a greater understanding of the implications of transferring authors' rights than do the authors themselves.

Technical Context

Effective policymaking requires an understanding of what technology can do and what possibilities it creates for managing intellectual property rights. The possibilities are not, of course, defined simply as tools to translate assumptions that are rooted in other media into the electronic context. But that appears to have been the approach taken in developing technology and policy relating to content generation and publication. In that category, there are technological mechanisms to protect intellectual property. Some, by design or effect, relate also to protection of privacy and security. To date, all have tended to relate to enabling the reaping of revenue and/or the protecting of content integrity by proprietors. These mechanisms include technology to protect content and technology to track (log, account, audit) uses and users. One mechanism authenticates the user for purposes of controlling access and imposing charges. Another can embed in documents relevant information or requirements relating to terms and conditions of use. Approaches such as "watermarking" can serve to differentiate copies from "originals," and address integrity as well as access-control concerns. Container approaches (such as IBM's "cryptolopes") attempt to encapsulate and label content for purposes such as access control.

Other technology relates to the operations of networks themselves. Network operations affect copying, transmission, browsing/viewing, processing, and "using" of information. For example, in the process of viewing a "document" (interpreted broadly), it is probably inherent that one can make a copy, raising questions about the boundary between distribution and copying. The operation of packet-switched networks may involve transient copies as a by-product, and efficient network management may argue for caching or mirroring of information -- distributing local copies rather than centralizing storage to limit network congestion. Experience with the World Wide Web, which has served to share, link, and enhance information, illustrates several relevant trends that raise questions about implicit or explicit copying or access and the fit between mechanism and context: high-volume access of specific information, proliferation of short-lived uses of information (interactive, hot-link access, and browsing), and short-lived publication of information (short lifetimes of many Web pages). These developments raise questions about whether there are meaningful distinctions among copies, and between copies and other forms of output, such as performances and displays, which may be treated differently under copyright law. The possibility of copying seems a fundamental side-effect of viewing and some instances of communications. Additional network technology issues bearing on intellectual property management relate to naming/addressing, routing, and mechanisms of interoperability, including software-based interfaces and support for accounting mechanisms across interconnected networks.

Plan Of Action

Statement of Task

The requested study will assess issues and derive research topics and policy recommendations related to:

  1. the nature (technology, architecture, and performance), evolution, and use of the Internet, federal networks, and other interconnected networks, and
  2. the generation, distribution, and protection of content accessed via networks, with particular attention to the balancing of the needs of commercial publishers with those of the research, education, and library communities.

The study will address the following areas regarding the intersection of intellectual property law and policy on the one hand, and network structure, efficiency, and use on the other:

  1. The state of the art and trends in network and document or content technologies relevant to intellectual property rights management, such as active documents, synthetic documents, document-based protections for terms and conditions, watermarking and other built-in mechanisms; micro-charging; caching and mirroring, multicast, and the necessary, but often temporary, reproductions in computer memory in the course of normal network and systems activity. The challenge is to sort out which trends are relevant, enduring, and promising, and how new communications and information technology may vitiate existing protections for intellectual property that the law offers to creators, users, and distributors.

  2. Emerging opportunities and forms of publishing that have no precedents in existing media or current copyright law that may present new needs and opportunities for managing intellectual property rights.

  3. How electronic distribution is changing the markets (scale, distribution, cost incidence) for information products, whether they are available in alternative media or only electronically. This includes the rapidly changing structure of information and communications industries that operate and provide content for networks.

  4. The characteristics of existing and proposed intellectual property law for both copyrightable works and noncopyrightable databases, in the United States and internationally, and the potential impacts of the proposed legal changes on the nation's research, education, and federal networking communities as information providers, distributors, and users of content.

  5. The mapping of technology and content elements, their owners, and their rights and responsibilities (e.g., the changing nature of liability and responsibility for service providers). Given that understanding, develop recommendations on how new technology might provide new mechanisms and tools to protect both property rights and public interests. Also, recommend what legal changes are necessary to respond adequately to the changing networked environment, while maintaining a reasonable balance between the protection of property rights and public interests.

Responsible Body

CSTB will convene a committee of approximately 15 experts in computing systems (including storage, switching, and processing aspects and associated software systems), "content systems" (information representation, publishing, browsing, and searching), communications systems (including packet switching, multicast, internetworking, and integration of data/computer and telecommunications networks), computer security (access control and integrity protection), library/information science, intellectual property law, publishing, education, and federally-funded research. The committee will be subject to National Research Council (NRC) procedures relating to composition and balance (bias and conflict of interest).

Preliminary Work Plan

Although the actual work plan will, per NRC's custom, be developed by the study committee, it is expected to include the following elements:

  • A review of the existing technical and policy literature and expert briefings at the beginning of the project to assure an up-to-date and balanced starting position. The literature review would be updated regularly.

  • A set of workshops or open meetings to broaden the range of inputs and identify preliminary issues and arguments. These workshops will be an important vehicle for obtaining the expert views of key constituencies. These workshops will examine (1) underlying technology developments and issues; (2) intellectual property law issues for both copyrightable works and noncopyrightable databases; (3) the needs of the publishing, research, education, library, and federal network communities; and (4) the impacts of the technological and intellectual property law developments identified in the first two workshops. The workshops will also serve to collect auxiliary written inputs as well as testimony. Other mechanisms might also be used to collect information relevant to the project:

  • A Web site or alternative approach to a bulletin board technology, initiated at the beginning of the project, could support ongoing input from interested parties.

  • A joint session with the Federal Networking Council (FNC) could assure both timely interaction and broader outreach into the federal networking community, to better appreciate its concerns and constraints. Like the initial workshop/open meeting -- with which it could be combined -- this should take place early or in the middle of the project.

To provide a useful integration of technical, economic, and policy dimensions, and to generate concrete bases for recommending or considering action, the project could develop several coherent proposals or scenarios. Each should tell a fairly complete story and explain how it balances the interests of the different stakeholders. The goal of this presentation should not be to produce "the" answer, but to present several possible answers whose different properties will help policymakers and the public to understand the available alternatives and their consequences.

It is expected that the work of the committee would be concentrated within a one-year period, with start-up and dissemination activities concentrated in an additional six months bracketing that year. The 18-month total time horizon would commence with the transfer of funds or pre-award spending authorization.

Product and Dissemination Plan

The principal product of this project will be a report summarizing the findings of the study committee and articulating its recommendations. The report will be subject to NRC review procedures. Dissemination will be targeted toward government policymakers and industrial planners. The report will also be made available on the National Academies' World Wide Web server, as well as in paper form. Additional efforts will be made to disseminate the report's conclusions through meetings with interested parties in government, academia, and industry; through participation in high-level industry and government conferences and international forums (e.g., under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization, the International Council of Scientific Unions, and specialized agencies of the United Nations); and by publication of summary articles in relevant journals, as appropriate. Funds for dissemination of these reports are included in the budget. Reports resulting from this effort shall be prepared in sufficient quantity to ensure their distribution to the sponsor, to committee members, and to other relevant parties, in accordance with Academy policy. Reports may be made available to the public without restrictions.

Information about the project and upcoming meetings/workshops will be posted shortly on the Academy's new current projects database, accessible from the main web site at www.nas.edu.

1 All subsequent references to "information" also incorporate "data," unless expressly stated otherwise.

Update on the NSF-Sponsored Workshop: "Advances in Social and Organizational Informatics"

Contributed by:

Rob Kling and Howard Rosenbaum
School of Library and Information Science
Center for Social Informatics
Indiana University

E-mail us at <hrosenba@indiana.edu>

The integration of information technologies (IT) and networks into organizations and other social settings continues to increase, transforming work in many application domains such as digital libraries, electronic commerce, and electronic publishing.

Within the Digital Library community, conceptualizations of this phenomenon have emphasized technological characteristics and used them to provide metrics of progress. But the development of digital libraries, for example, has also raised deep and difficult questions about technology and social change. For example, social informatics researchers have found that the ways in which IT interacts with people's routine work worlds plays a major role in the extent to which busy professionals will use new systems. It is important to bring research findings and concepts such as these to bear on digital libraries so that they stand a good chance of being well utilized.

A growing number of researchers and scholars have begun to learn that the effective use of IT depends on the social infrastructures in which they are embedded, that systems often have have varied impacts on social life, and that some of the more important consequences were often unanticipated. These researchers have been working in a variety of disciplines with little contact and exchange of information. Could these people be brought together under the conceptual umbrella of social informatics (SI)?

Organized by Professor Rob Kling and Professor Howard Rosenbaum of the School of Library and Information Science and Center for Social Informatics, Indiana University, a workshop on "Advances in Social and Organizational Informatics," was held in November 1997 with sponsorship from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Representing a variety of disciplines including information science, computer science, sociology, communications, anthropology, policy studies, and business information systems, 25 scholars came to the IU campus for three days of intensive discussion about social informatiocs (SI) and organizational informatics (OI) (a list of participants is available). Divided into a series of focused working groups, the attendees grappled with the problems of defining SI as a field of study, concentrating on its definition, fundamental concepts, research exemplars, implications for systems design, and ways to communicate key ideas of social informatics to wider audiences.

The workshop had three objectives, the most important of which was the articulation of SI as an interdisciplinary research domain (a description of the workshop is available). Other objectives included identifying the state of knowledge about SI and developing strategies for establishing awareness of SI in a wide range of relevant academic disciplines. By the close of the workshop, a consensus was reached on a working definition of SI as:

The interdisciplinary study of the design, uses, and impacts of information and information and communications technologies that takes into account their interactions with institutional and cultural contexts.

SI focuses on the social dimensions of the integration of IT, particularly computerization, and networked information into social and organizational life, including the roles of these technologies in social and organizational change. Given this focus, participants identified key ideas around which SI is centered based in a body of empirical research that has developed over 25 years. The final report "Social Informatics: Understanding Information Technology and Social Change," is currently being prepared and covers:

  • Key ideas and concepts of SI;

  • The current state of knowledge about SI and strategies for establishing research-based and curricular awareness of SI;

  • A set of core research issues for SI and research questions for this domain;

  • Ways to strengthen communication and interaction within the SI community and between this community and researchers in cognate disciplines, practitioners, system designers, and students.

We anticipate that this report will be read widely in several different research communities and hope to use this opportunity to enter into a dialog with members of these communities about the substance of the report.

If you are interested in learning more about social informatics, you can:


  • The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) is a structured vocabulary developed primarily for the field of art history, but with the potential for wide applications in related disciplines including archaeology, history, and geography. The TGN contains nearly 1 million place names representing approximately 900,000 places. The logical focus of a TGN record is the "place." Each place has attributes, including names, place types and coordinates. Places are arranged in hierarchies representing the current political and physical world.

  • The Getty Center has posted a hyperlinked collection of resources related to digital preservation as a component of its project, Time and Bits: Managing Digital Continuity. This project, which included a week-long on-line conversation, was co-organized by the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Information Institute and the Long Now Foundation of San Francisco.

  • The American Folklife Center and the National Digital Library Program at the Library of Congress has announced the release of the online presentation: Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection, a multi-format ethnographic field collection from the Center's Archive of Folk Culture. This collection documents the everyday life of residents of Farm Security Administration (FSA) migrant work camps in central California in 1940 and 1941.

  • California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the '30s is an ethnographic field collection from the American Folklife Center's Archive of Folk Culture. The collection includes sound recordings, still photographs, drawings, and manuscripts documenting the musical traditions of a variety of European ethnic and English- and Spanish-speaking communities in California. It comprises 35 hours of folk music recorded in twelve languages representing 185 musicians.

  • AlphaSearch is a web library of subject-related gateway sites, defined as sites that organize a large number of other sites all focused on an idea, subject or discipline. Gateway sites have also been called "webliographies," "meta-indexes," and in the paper world "subject bibliographies." The AlphaSearch staff selects gateway sites and then supplies controlled descriptors, keywords, and discipline and resource type keys to each record. Selection criteria include the following: A site must be academically oriented, large, and actively maintained. There is a search engine that allows for exact searching and browsing. AlphaSearch is a service of The Hekman Library, Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

In Print

  • Folklife Sourcebook: A Directory of Folklife Resources in the United States, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded 1997 by Peter Bartis. Chapters include directories for graduate programs, public sector folklore organizations, archives, serial publications, and publishers of books and monographs on folklore, ethnomusicology, and folk music.

  • Beyond the Beginning: The Global Digital Library; An International Conference Organised by UKOLN on behalf of JISC, CNI, BLRIC, CAUSE and CAUL. This report contained edited papers of presentations given at this two-day conference, June 16-17, 1997, in London. In addition to introductory remarks contributions in the following topics: The World of Information; Research and Development Programmes; Information, Education and Learning; Measurement; Metadata; Authentication; and Intellectual Property.

Goings On

  • The Information Ecosystem: Managing the Life Cycle of Information for Preservation and Access, March 10-13, 1998, Archives II, College Park, Maryland. Registration closes February 27, 1998.

    Contributed by Gay Tracy, Northeast Document Conservation Center

    Sponsored by the National Park Service (NPS) Museum Management Program, the National Register of Historic Places, and the National Archives and Records Administration, and presented by the NPS Northeast Document Conservation Center, this course teaches managers how to create, manage, adapt, and reuse information, particularly electronic information, in a project setting. Attendees will learn answers to:

    • What is the ecology of information?
    • Who are the stakeholders in the information ecosystem?
    • How do you create long-lived information effectively?
    • What are the payoffs?
    • What information systems exist?
    • How can you adaptively reuse their contents?
    • How do you plan for effective information management in the 21st century?
    • How do you integrate legacy data into your systems?
    • What new and endangered species do we have in the information ecosystem?
    • What are the special challenges and opportunities of digital projects?
    • What are the legal constraints on information use?
    • What are the best research sources, strategies, tools, and help sources?

    This course is targeted toward middle and upper managers of cultural and natural resources who are responsible for supervising the creation, management, use and/or adaptive reuse of information; program heads, division and department directors, park superintendents, information officers, records managers, librarians, archivists, state historic preservation officers, and others from the federal and state government, nonprofit organizations, and corporations.

    The fee for the conference is $285 including lunches. Participants will be responsible for their travel and lodging costs. The number of participants is limited. The registration deadline is February 27, 1998.

    For more information on The Information Ecosystem: Managing the Life Cycle of Information for Preservation, including the agenda and faculty, contact:

    Gay Tracy
    Northeast Document Conservation Center
    100 Brickstone Square
    Andover, MA 01810
    Fax 978-475-6021
    E-mail <tracy@nedcc.org> http://www.nedcc.org

    This conference was made possible, in part, with special funding by the National Park Service through its Cultural Resource Training Initiative and by the Northeast Document Conservation Center

  • Association for Information Systems 1998 Americas Conference (AIS '98), Mini-Track on Advances in Social Informatics and Information Systems, August 14-16, 1998, Baltimore, Maryland. Call for Papers closes March 2, 1998. Social Informatics (SI) is the interdisciplinary study of the design and uses of information and communication technologies that takes into account their interaction with institutional and cultural contexts. Specific topics of interest include, but are not limited to the following:

    • impacts of information technologies in groups, organizations, and larger scale social settings
    • analysis of computerization and the use of information technologies in social context
    • public uses of the internet
    • life with computer-mediated communication (CMC)
    • the social shaping of information systems
    • the production, distribution and consumption of electronic texts
    • the roles of information technologies in changing or reinforcing patterns of worklife, community life, and the character of institutions
    Further information on submission guidelines and related requirement is available at: <http://info.cwru.edu/rlamb/ais98cfp.htm>. Information on the conference is available at: <http://www.isworld.org/ais.ac.98>.

  • The Annual Museum Computer Network Conference (MCN '98): Knowledge Creation-Knowledge Sharing-Knowledge Preservation, September 23 - 26, 1998, Santa Monica, California, USA. Call for Proposals closes March 16, 1998. As modern cultures move rapidly from analog to digital media, atoms to bits, the role of museums as preservers of artifacts becomes more important. Information and communication technologies are important tools for creating, sharing, and preserving cultural knowledge through the presentation and representation of museum objects. Today, this includes not just the atoms of real exhibitions, but the bits accessed by remote visitors from classrooms and living rooms all over the world. This conference addresses the concerns of professionals involved with information technology and museums: educators, registrars, curators, archivists, conservators, librarians, managers, designers, systems analysts, writers, and lawyers. Technology, administration, legal issues, design concerns, research and commercial implications will all be discussed from the perspective of museum applications and the diverse audiences for which they are created. For more information, visit the MCN web site at http://www.mcn.edu.

  • Sixth DELOS Workshop: Preservation of Digital Information, June 17-19, 1998, Lisbon, Portugal. Call for Papers closes March 16, 1998. The sixth workshop of the DELOS Working Group will examine issues related to the preservation of digital information. Position papers are invited in the following topics:

    • Long-term storage and access architectures for digital publications.
    • Formats and standards for preservation of digital information.
    • Preservation of digital information formats.
    • Metadata standards for preservation.
    • Preservation of metadata and other contextual information.
    • Information retrieval in archived collections.
    • Reliability, authenticity and intellectual preservation in media migration.
    • Digital document genres and preservation (policies and criteria).
    • Preserving electronic publications (content) versus manifestations (presentation).
    • Organizational challenges and strategies in archiving of digital information.
    • Managing change in a digital repository environment.
    • National challenges and strategies in archiving of digital information.
    • The legal deposit of digital publications.
    • Commercial protection and public interest in the access to (legal) deposit collections.
    • Longevity of digital media (CD-ROM, magnetic media, optical media, etc.).
    • Preservation of hardware dependent digital information (games, CBTs, etc.).
    • Preserving information through digitalization.

    The sixth DELOS Workshop will be co-organized by the DELOS Working Group and the NEDLIB Project. DELOS is a working group funded by the ESPRIT Long Term Research Program of the European Commission. The members of the DELOS group are the twelve ERCIM research institutes, the University of Michigan (USA), and Elsevier Science. NEDLIB is a project promoted by the CoBRA+ group and supported by the Telematics for Libraries Programme of the European Commission. The project consortium includes nine European national libraries, a National Archive and three major publishers. The objective of NEDLIB is to ensure that digital publications of the present can be used now and in the future. The project was scheduled to start in January 1998.

  • Digital Libraries Asia 98 Conference and Exhibition: The Digital Era: Implications, Challenges & Issues, March 17-20, 1998, Singapore. Digital Libraries Asia 98 will examine successful applications and developments in digital libraries in such areas as electronic published, intellectual property rights, distributed search, and economic models. The Conference will be include an Exhibition of products and services focusing on multimedia/multilingual content, online information services, payment and billing services that would support the educational, professional and entertainment/leisure needs of users. Three workshops will follow the conference.

  • 35th Annual GSLIS Clinic: Successes and Failures of Digital Libraries, March 22-24, 1998, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This conference proposes to examine the successes and failures of the development process and the 4-year NSF/ARPA/NASA-funded Digital Libraries Initiative (DLI), now in its final year. In addition, a number of speakers will be invited who will provide a wider perspective. Thus, concrete findings will be put in a broader context. This includes:

    • What worked?
    • Unexpected problems encountered and predictions for future problems?
    • Things that failed and how to avoid them in the future?
    • How problems were resolved: Useful solutions and techniques for addressing the problems.

    The workshop will consider some of the following issues, as well as others contributed by attendees:

    • Practical aspects of digital library design
    • Managing the development process
    • Interacting with stake holders
    • Lessons learned from existing projects
    • Successes to build on and failures to avoid
    • Integrating digital libraries with physical libraries
    • Attending to the needs of the user
    • Interfaces and the retrieval process

    For more information, see <http://edfu.lis.uiuc.edu/dpc98/>.

  • Coling-ACL '98 Workshop. Translingual Information Management: Current Levels and Future Abilities, August 16, 1998, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada. Call for papers closes March 23, 1998. This workshop intentionally builds on the NSF-sponsored workshop to be held in association with the First International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation in Granada, Spain (May 1998). A report summarizing the discussions at Granada is expected to be available before the Coling-ACL workshop. Therefore, the workshop will focus on the following questions:

    1. What is the current level of capability in each of the major areas of the field dealing with language and related media of human communication?
    2. How can (some of) these functions be integrated in the near future, and what kind of systems will result?
    3. What are the major considerations for extending these functions to handle multi-lingual and multi-modal information, particularly in integrated systems of the type envisioned in above?

    The workshop proposes to consider these questions in relation to the following areas:

    • multi-lingual resources (lexicons, ontologies, corpora, etc.)
    • information retrieval, especially cross-lingual and cross-modal
    • machine translation
    • automated (cross-lingual) summarization and information extraction
    • multimedia communication, in conjunction with text
    • evaluation and assessment techniques for each of these areas
    • methods and techniques (both statistics-based and linguistics-based) of pre-parsing, parsing, generation, information acquisition, etc.
    Information on submission format is available via the conference's main page: <http://coling-acl98.iro.umontreal.ca/MainPage.html>. The conference will be held August 10-14, 1998 at Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada.

  • IRISS '98: Internet Research and Information for Social Scientists, March 25-27, 1998, Bristol, UK.

    Contributed by John Kirriemuir, Research Officer, Internet Research and Information for Social Scientists

    This conference proposes to appeal to social scientists who are interested in the Internet, either as a means of supporting and enhancing their work, or as a focus for their research. The program content is based on the three themes of skills, sites and social effects. The provisional session timetable has been posted AND contains the running times and the abstracts of the 55 papers to be presented at the conference. These papers are arranged in the following sessions:

    • Work, Telework and Social Work
    • Cyberdemocracy
    • The Web: A Suitable Medium for Education?
    • Do students need Internet Training?
    • The Internet and Social Science Research
    • Studying Cyberspace
    • Cyberphenomena
    • Networking our Communities
    • Electronic Communities
    • The WWW as Laboratory, Fieldbook and Forum
    • Internet Sites and Services
    • Studying Electronic Communication
    • Electronic Libraries

    From the IRISS Website, users can find details of over 30 of the Internet Gallery submissions, the keynote speakers, social events and details of the 7 workshops, namely:

    • Using the Internet for Teaching and Learning
    • Finding social science resources on the Internet
    • Social Science resources online - what MIDAS can provide
    • Bibliographic and Geographical Information Online: EDINA for Social Scientists
    • The Internet as a Tool for Ethnic Conflict Research
    • Making metadata work for you
    • Creating and Publishing Web pages

    Registration and related information is accessible via the web site.

  • American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) 1998 Annual Symposium: A Paradigm Shift in Health Information Systems: Clinical Infrastructures for the 21st Century. November 7-11, 1998, Orlando, Florida. Call for participation closes March 27, 1998. The decade-long movement to decentralize information systems by embedding them in the clinical setting has been severely dampened by the absence of enabling infrastructures, such as terminologies that will allow the comparison of health care information; standards for messaging, transactions, and code sets; and health care community agreement regarding how and where these systems should be used. Topics around which papers are invited include but are not strictly limited to the following:

    • Training, education, and cognitive science
    • Standards and policies
    • Expert systems and algorithms
    • Information retrieval and digital libraries
    • Clinical information management
    • Health information networks
    • User interfaces
    • Images and other non-technical data
    • Bioinformatics and molecular applications

  • JavaOne (tm): Sun's 1998 Worldwide Java Developer Conference, March 24-27, 1998, San Francisco, California. This three-day conference features a number of tracks and sessions for, including a group entitled "Java in the Real World". These encompass sessions devoted to legacy systems, distributed applications, decision support and data warehousing, and workflow and corporate knowledge. The deadline for hotel registration is February 27, 1998; conference registration is available on-line.

  • Asia Pacific Web Conference (APWeb98): World Wide Web: Technologies and Applications, September 27-30, 1998, Beijing, P.R. China. Call for papers closes April 6, 1998. The Asia Pacific Web Conference seeks to attract an international pool of professionals from industry and academe. The conference focuses on the following topics within two streams; all related areas are welcome:

    Technology Stream:

    • Application Programming Interfaces
    • Databases and Knowledge Bases
    • Distributed/Component-Based Objects
    • Distributed/Real-Time Systems
    • Hypertext/Hypermedia/Multimedia
    • Information Retrieval and Data Mining
    • Internet/Intranet/Extranet
    • Languages
    • Middleware
    • Mobile Computing and Intelligent Agents
    • Networking and Communication
    • Protocols
    • Security
    • Servers

    Applications Stream:

    • Business Opportunities
    • Community and Cultural Impact
    • Education/Distance Education
    • Electronic Commerce and Digital Libraries
    • Enterprise Computing and Workflow Management
    • Entertainment
    • Human-Computer Interaction
    • Groupware/Computer Supported Cooperative Work
    • Industries
    • Industry Training
    • Software Development

  • Seventh International World Wide Web Conference, April 14-18, 1998, Brisbane, Australia. The conference proposes to promote the evolution and interoperability of the web at three levels: hardware and software architecture, user interfaces, and business, social and technological policies. The program is designed for researchers, developers, content providers, and users. Tracks are devoted to culture and multimedia providers on the web as well as to technical and business topics and applications. Also associated with the conference will be workshops and tutorials on base technologies (e.g., HTTP, XSL and XML) and emerging applications areas (e.g., libraries, information re-use).

  • Lakehead University Summer Institute for Advanced Studies, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, is now accepting registration for summer seminars in the use of computing technologies for research in the humanities and social sciences. These graduate courses would interest librarians, information scientists, and other information professionals interested in the issues and technologies pertaining to the creation and development of digital libraries. The MacKenzie Ward Trust is collaborating with Lakehead University in organizing this innovative Graduate Summer School in 1998. There are two sessions in 1998:

    • Session I: May 11th to 30, 1998
    • Session II: July 6th to 25th, 1998

  • Digital Resources in the Humanities '98, September 9-12, 1998, Glasgow, UK. The Third International Conference brings together the creators, users, distributors, and curators of Digital Resources in the Humanities. The conference will take up three intensive days of papers, panel discussions, technical reports, and software demonstrations, in an atmosphere that is conducive to formal and information discussion. To date, sponsors of the conference include the British Library, the Office for Humanities Communication, the Arts and Humanities Data Service, the Centre for Computing in the Humanities of Kings College London the Library of University College London, the Humanities Computing Unit of Oxford University and the Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute at the University of Glasgow. Themes include:

    • Creation and management of digital resources (e.g. textual, visual, and time-based).
    • Integration of digital resources as multimedia.
    • Policies and strategies for electronic delivery, both commercial and non-commercial.
    • Cataloguing and metadata aspects of resource discovery.
    • Implications of digital resources and electronic delivery for teaching, learning, and scholarship.
    • Encoding standards.
    • Rights management (e.g. intellectual property rights).
    • Funding, cost-recovery, and charging mechanisms.
    • Digitisation techniques and problems.

  • Third International Conference on Concepts in Library and Information Science (CoLIS 3): Digital Libraries; Interdisciplinary Concepts, Challenges and Opportunities. Call for Papers closes September 15, 1998.

    Contributed by Tefko Saracevic, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA

    Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik (IUC)
    May 23-26, 1999, Dubrovnik, Croatia
    Web sites: http://www.ffzg.hr/infoz/colis3 or http://www.scils.rutgers.edu/colis3
    E-mail: colis3@ffzg.hr

    Organizers: University of Zagreb, Croatia; University of Tampere, Finland; Royal School of Library and Information Science, Copenhagen, Denmark; and Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA

    Co-Sponsors: American Society for Information Science (ASIS); European Chapter; Association for Computing Machinery, Special Interest Group For Information Retrieval (SIGIR/ACM); International Federation for Information and Documentation (FID)

    The general aim of CoLIS conferences is to provide a broad forum for critically exploring and analyzing library and information science as a discipline and as a field of research from historical, theoretical, and empirical perspectives. CoLIS 1 was held in 1991 at the University of Tampere, Finland, and CoLIS 2 in 1996 at the Royal School of Librarianship, Copenhagen Denmark.

    The goal is to critically explore the evolving concepts, research, and development related to digital libraries from the perspective of a number of approaches and disciplines. The conference aims to focus on fundamental and integrating issues and problems that reflect efforts and thinking from a number of disciplines and countries. Contributions are invited that address the topics listed below. They are further elaborated at conference web sites:

    • Fundamental and theoretical aspects and questions underlying digital libraries.
    • Nature of digital library collections.
    • Organization of digital libraries.
    • Access to digital libraries.
    • Use of digital libraries.
    • Technical infrastructure.
    • Evaluation of digital libraries.
    • Social issues.
    • Economics of digital libraries.
    • Integration of various kinds of information resources.
    • Roots and comparison.

    Types of Contributions (for more details see the conference web sites).

    • Research papers. Full length papers (4 copies) of up to 12 pages covering any of the topics should be submitted to the Program Chair responsible for the geographic region. A Best Paper Award and a Best Student Paper Award are planned.

    • Poster presentations. Presentation of a work in progress that is best communicated in an interactive way. A synopsis (4 copies) of up to 3 pages should be submitted to the Poster Chair.

    • Panels. Proposals for panel sessions on issues and problems of general interest that will stimulate a lively debate should be sent to the Panels Chair.

    • Tutorials. Proposals for half or full day tutorials held before the opening of the conference should be submitted to the Tutorial Chair.

    • Workshops. Proposals for one day workshops held at the conclusion of the conference should be submitted to the Workshops Chair. Both, tutorials and workshops are designed to be self-sustaining economically to cover expenses of presenters.

    • Demonstrations and exhibits. Proposals for demonstrations of digital library projects or for exhibit of related materials should be submitted to Demonstration & Exhibit Chair.

    Important Dates and Deadlines

    Today: register interest to receive information by completing a form at conference web site, or send an email to colis3@ffzg.hr

    15 September 1998: Research papers deadline.

    15 October 1998: Deadline for posters, tutorials, workshops, panels, demonstrations and exhibits.

    1 December 1998: notifications on selections.

    1 February 1999: Final camera ready copy.

    Conference Organization

    Conference Chairs: Tatjana Aparac. University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia. <taparac@mudrac.ffzg.hr> and

    Peter Ingwersen. (also Regional Chair -Africa, Asia, Australia) Royal School of Library and Information Science, Copenhagen Denmark. <PI@db.dk>

    Program Chair (also Regional Chair The Americas): Tefko Saracevic. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ,USA <tefko@scils.rutgers.edu>

    Regional Chair Europe: Pertti Vakkari, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland. <lipeva@uta.fi>

    Posters and Tutorials Chair: Irene Wormel. Royal School of Library and Information Science, Copenhagen, Denmark. <IW@db.dk>

    Workshops Chair: Mirna Willer, National & University Library, Zagreb, Croatia. <mwiller@nsk.hr>

    Demonstrations And Exhibits Chair: Aida Slavic, University of Zagreb, Croatia. <aslavic@mudrac.ffzg.hr>

    About the Venue

    The conference will be held in the historic city of Dubrovnik, Croatia. Special post-conference excursions will be offered. Dubrovnik can be reached by air from Zagreb, Croatia and a number of European cities, by road following the Adriatic highway and by ferry from Rijeka, Croatia, and Bari, Italy. The main hotels, with special conference rates for participants, will be Excelsior Hotel (category A, on the sea and overlooking the city), and Hotel Lero (category B, across from a beach). The conference hotels are a short walking distance from the historic walled city and from the conference site.

    For more information about Dubrovnik, visit: http://www.tel.fer.hr/dubrovnik, and for Hotel Excelsior visit: http://www.laus.hr/dalmacija/dubrovnik/hotel/excelsior/Welcome.html

Pointers in This Column

35th Annual GSLIS Clinic: Successes and Failures of Digital Libraries
March 22-24, 1998
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Advances in Social and Organizational Informatics
(NSF Workshop Web Site)
AlphaSearch http://www.calvin.edu/Lib_Resources/as/
American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA)
1998 Annual Symposium
A Paradigm Shift in Health Information Systems: Clinical Infrastructures for the 21st Century
November 7-11, 1998
Orlando, Florida
Asia Pacific Web Conference (APWeb98)
World Wide Web: Technologies and Applications
September 27-30, 1998
Beijing, P.R. China
Association for Information Systems 1998 Americas Conference (AIS '98), Mini-Track on Advances in Social Informatics and Information Systems
August 14-16, 1998
Baltimore, Maryland
Beyond the Beginning: The Global Digital Library
An International Conference Organised by UKOLN on behalf of JISC, CNI, BLRIC, CAUSE and CAUL
California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the '30s http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/afccchtml/cowhome.html
CMANet, Library of Links
How to Evaluate Medical Information Found on the Internet
Coling-ACL '98
August 10-14, 1998
Université de Montréal
Montréal, Canada.
Coling-ACL '98 Workshop
Translingual Information Management: Current Levels and Future Abilities
August 16, 1998
Université de Montréal
Montréal, Canada.
Digital Libraries Asia 98 Conference and Exhibition
The Digital Era: Implications, Challenges & Issues
March 17-20, 1998
Digital Resources in the Humanities '98
September 9-12, 1998
Glasgow, UK
Folklife Sourcebook
A Directory of Folklife Resources in the United States
Third Edition, Revised and Expanded

Peter Bartis
Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names http://www.ahip.getty.edu/tgn_browser/
Internet Research and Information for Social Scientists
March 25-27, 1998
Bristol, UK
JavaOne (tm): Sun's 1998 Worldwide Java Developer Conference
March 24-27, 1998
San Francisco, California.
Lakehead University Summer Institute for Advanced Studies
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Museum Computer Network Conference
(MCN '98)
Knowledge Creation-Knowledge Sharing-Knowledge Preservation
September 23-26, 1998
Santa Monica, California, USA
A Proposal To Improve Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses
Discussion Draft
Seventh International World Wide Web Conference
April 14-18, 1998
Brisbane, Australia
Sixth DELOS Workshop
Preservation of Digital Information
June 17-19, 1998
Lisbon, Portugal
Third International Conference on Concepts in Library and Information Science
(CoLIS 3)
Digital Libraries: Interdisciplinary Concepts, Challenges and Opportunities
Time and Bits: Managing Digital Continuity
(Resource List)
Voices from the Dust Bowl
The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection

Copyright © 1998 Corporation for National Research Initiatives

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