The LEADERS Project (Linking EAD to Electronically Retrievable Sources), based at the School of Library, Archive and Information Studies, University College, London, and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB), is charged with employing reusable XML technologies to provide access to transcripts and images of archival documents on the web.
In achieving our goal we have developed a toolkit for use on multiple projects and with a wide variety of archival source materials. The overarching generic requirement has led us to concentrate on reusability at all levels in our design. The entire system is built using open source, standard and platform independent technologies.
The LEADERS delivery system consists of data files, the LEADERS Toolkit, and a demonstrator application, each of which can be re-used independently of the others.
Any source materials encoded using the LEADERS DTDs and Schemas can be exploited by the index and search and services, and thus act as a platform for a client application.
The indexing utilities are an XSL stylesheet and a Java routine, which together harvest index data from the data files to create an index document. This is used by the search engine - Lucene, to generate browseable indexes for searching and retrieval. The stylesheet may be modified to harvest more, and/or different tags, and different descriptive information.
The Web Services written in Java, provide the search, retrieve, and display functions which are consumed by the client application. The use of Web Services has enabled us to achieve:
LEADERS Demonstrator Application
The application consists of a series of screens in the form of XML and XHTML documents; XSL stylesheets; CSS stylesheets and eXtensible Server Pages (XSP) scripts. The files are parameterised and designed to operate together in a Cocoon environment, and run from a Tomcat applet server.
The encoding of the finding aids, the source documents and the EAC files, along with the basic system design and application design has been done by the LEADERS Project team. We contracted BookMARC, a software development organisation based at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, to implement the designs for both the toolkit and the application.
The Indian National Science Academy (INSA) formerly known as National Institute of Sciences of India, (NISI) was established on 7th January 1935. This is the apex body of Indian scientists representing all branches of science and technology. Its objectives encompass promotion of science in India, safeguarding the interests of the scientists, establishing linkages with international bodies to foster collaboration and expressing considered opinion on national issues.
The digitisation work started on 19 July 2002, and the first phase was completed by March 2003, including Content Creation; Website design and development; and hosting of both legacy journals and current publications.
What is online
All the regular journals of the Academy are accessible online to make them available to a wider audience.
Search filters include journals, keywords, article titles, authors, journal volumes, issue, year, initial pages and display options.
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The 'Forgot Password' feature has also been provided for password retrieval in case a user forgets his or her access password.
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What is CO-ODE?
The CO-ODE project (http://www.co-ode.org) aims to produce an open source, industrial strength ontology development environment, which can be used to create, edit and maintain ontologies. The ontology development environment will cater to a wide customer base with varying needs, ranging from people who are developing small local ontologies on the order of one or two hundred concepts, to people who are developing and maintaining very large ontologies on the order of tens of thousands of concepts, extending existing ontologies and developing applications that use ontologies. It will support all three common knowledge modeling paradigmsFrames, Resource Description Framework (RDF)/Resource Description Framework Schema (RDFS), and the new, emerging standard, Web Ontology Language (OWL http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/WebOnt). A fundamental feature of the proposed architecture is its extensibility and flexibility. The architecture will be designed specifically to be able to link to further tools being developed in UK, EU and US projects, and will support third party plugins.
What's an ontology?
At this point you may be asking yourself, 'What is an ontology?'. An ontology is a formal method of capturing knowledge about some domain of interest. For example, an ontology could be used to represent the content and services offered by a digital library. Ontologies are based around classes or concepts and the relationships or properties that exist between them. The concepts in an ontology are organized into rich classification hierarchies, or taxonomies. Superficially similar to the sophisticated classification hierarchies developed by librarians, ontologies typically aim for even greater rigour and consistency in order to be computable. If a formal logic is used as a basis for the ontology, then the ontology will be amenable to being processed by a computer or automated agent that is able to make inferences and answer queries about the information captured in the ontologya particularly useful feature for digital libraries, given the vast amounts of information they could contain and the variety of services they could offer. Ontologies and Metadata have therefore been widely identified as key technologies for digital libraries and a number of other areas, with the realization that robust, user-oriented ontology development and editing tools are of particular importance.
The CO-ODE team are based at the University Of Manchester in the UK, and they collaborate with Stanford University in the US, in order to integrate and build upon the most widely used tools for developing and using ontologies worldwideOilEd (http://oiled.man.ac.uk) from the University of Manchester, and Protégé (http://protege.stanford.edu/) from Stanford University. The CO-ODE project is funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) (http://www.jisc.ac.uk).
How Can I Find Out More?
To find out more about the CO-ODE project visit the CO-ODE website at <http://www.co-ode.org>, which contains further information about the project along with contact details for the people involved with it. You are encouraged to participate, suggest ideas, and try out and evaluate releases of the tools as they become available.
TOIA (Technologies for Online Interoperable Assessment): Free Assessment Tools for and by the Community
TOIA (Technologies for Online Interoperable Assessment) is a JISC-funded project within the Exchange for Learning Programme (X4L). TOIA began in October 2002 to build a computer-based assessment (CBA) system that is not only free to UK Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE), but properly addresses the interoperability of assessment. The project is currently funded until October 2005.
For many people the CBA tools available to them are contained within their institutional VLE although many UK institutions have also purchased at significant cost a stand-alone CBA system. Most systems now claim to comply with the globally used IMS Question and Test Interoperability Specification (QTI). Alas, if one attempts to move assessment material from one system to anothereven from their own compliant VLE to their compliant stand-alone system, there can be problems with the re-interpretation and display of questions and tests.
One solution to reducing variation has been through TOIA, where in collaboration with CETIS (the Centre for Educational Technology Interoperability Standards), core elements of the specifications underwent systematic independent review.
This review generated a reference question set exhibiting best practice in QTI structure including explanations of how systems should render variants and guidance to developers on how to 'fix' your system. A number of leading CBA systems, VLE's and TOIA have been tested so far. TOIA fared better than any other system available for testing although testing will continue as more software vendors/developers engage with TOIA and the real interoperability of assessment.
TOIA functionality stems from research and practice in further and higher education institutions and contains features common to all testing systems, but TOIA has enhanced both interoperability and functionality in line with the requirements of the education community. Features include:
The system has undergone extensive evaluations from CBA and usability experts from across the UK. We are now making changes to make it even easier to use for both old hands and newcomers to CBA.
The X4L programme is all about proving that interoperability can actually happen, and providing the community with the resources needed to make their learning or assessment content as interoperable as possible. TOIA, whilst the only project dealing with CBA, is one of three X4L projects looking at the mechanics and reality of interoperating in a fast-paced environment. Also funded are Jorum+ and RELOAD which look at the Content Storage and Packaging of learning objects, respectively, again using up to the minute IMS specifications.
For further information and contact details, or if you would like a TOIA authoring account, please visit <http://www.toia.ac.uk>.
The School of Information Studies at Syracuse University with funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has launched the Digital Reference Education Initiative (DREI).
Born out of requests for comprehensive training and competencies in digital reference, the Digital Reference Education Initiative seeks to bring together the collective expertise of practitioners, library educators, and digital reference software developers interested in issues of education and training in order to develop core competencies, and educational approaches to digital reference. DREI's main goal is to create an adaptable collection of core competencies, standards, tools, and training materials that may be used in various library and other information industry settings, and to provide access to these materials through the DREI website <http://drei.syr.edu>.
Features of the Digital Reference Education Initiative include:
Other planned features for the site include access to annotated exemplary digital reference transcripts, digital reference training and practice settings, and a digital reference blog area.
Dr. Abby A. Goodrum serves as a principle investigator on the DREI project. Dr. Goodrum is an Assistant Professor in the MLIS program at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. Dr. Goodrum has recently completed a study of digital reference practice between museums and libraries.
Dr. R. David Lankes also serves as a principle investigator on the DREI project. He is Director of the Information Institute of Syracuse, and an Assistant Professor in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. Dr. Lankes has an extensive background in conducting large research projects investigating aspects of digital reference, and is known internationally for his work in digital reference and digital libraries.
Dr. Joseph Janes, Associate Professor in the Information School at the University of Washington, is a nationally recognized teacher, researcher, and author in the area of digital reference. Dr. Janes serves as a consultant to the DREI project, to which he brings a wealth of experience in digital reference and digital reference education.
Joann Wasik is Research Consultant and Communications Officer at the Information Institute of Syracuse. She has an extensive background in academic libraries, and consults on the Virtual Reference Desk and GEM Metadata projects. Wasik oversees all aspects of the DREI project, and serves as the main point of contact for the project.
We hope you'll join us in furthering digital reference education by contributing to this collective, dynamic resource. For more information on the Digital Reference Education Initiative, or to ask how you can participate, please contact Joann Wasik at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
KCL Digital Consulting Services (KDCS) is carrying out an extensive survey and investigation on behalf of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Information is being sought about any charging practice in US Art Museums for the sale of digital versions of cultural resources. As many responses as possible are needed to the online survey. If you class yourself as an art museum and are based in the USA, please participate in the survey, which is located online at <http://www.kcl.ac.uk/cch/kdcs>.
Background information on the survey
The online survey (comprised of 19 questions) seeks basic information that is publicly available about each museum's activity. It should take no more than 25 minutes to complete.
Questions are posed to explore the basic cost and policy models adopted in arriving at pricing structures for delivering digital surrogates of unique or rare items. The results will provide a unique examination of a fast evolving market of international cultural significance.
We value any contribution and give the following assurances:
Background Information on the study
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has provided a grant to KDCS for a study of USA art museum policy and practice regarding the market for digital resources.
The study aims to examine the new market realities and opportunities cultural institutions face due to the transition to digitized collections. The project will explore the cost and policy models adopted in arriving at pricing structures for delivering surrogates of unique or rare items as digital objects. Further, it aims to discover the key factors that affect the willingness of museums to collaborate and enable digital content to be shared. The results will provide a unique examination of a fast evolving market of international cultural significance.
The USA study is an extension of Simon Tanner's previous work for the Mellon Foundation, which looked into pricing policy within the UK and other European libraries and museums. The results of the previous study are linked from the KDCS website at <http://www.kcl.ac.uk/cch/kdcs>.
A new email list has been launched for people who are involved in describing resources using metadata schemas based on the IEEE Learning Object Metadata (LOM) standard. It should be relevant for people cataloguing digital learning resources and those writing the guidelines for this or managing the metadata creation process.
The new list is called lom-cataloguing, and details on how to join it are at <http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/lom-cataloguing.html>. The list is managed by the CETIS Metadata and Digital Repository Special Interest Group, (see <http://metadata.cetis.ac.uk> for more details on this group).
The lom-cataloguing list came about after a workshop in London last year that brought together staff from a variety of projects using the LOM to catalogue resources. It became evident that (a) many untrained and non-LIS qualified staff were employed in such activities, and (b) they needed support and help, and to be in contact with each other. Many of the people at the meeting wanted advice on LOM metadata creation but were distracted, confused and put off when discussions got too technicalso on the new list discussion of XML bindings, identifier schemes and the like should be avoided. We hope the new list will encourage common practice in interpretation of the LOM elements.
Excerpts from Recent Press Releases and Announcements
Resource Sponsors Three Fellowships on First Clore Leadership Programme
" 14 January 2004 - As part of its commitment to workforce development Resource will be a major sponsor for the Clore Leadership Programme in 2004 - 2005. At a total cost of �135,000 Resource is funding three Fellowships, one for each of the museums, archives and libraries domains."
"The Clore Leadership Programme is a new initiative established by the Clore Duffield Foundation in 2003 to help develop the knowledge, skills, networks and experience of potential leaders across the cultural sector."
"...Applications are open to any EU resident who has had at least five years' work experience, in the cultural sector or beyond. The flexibly designed fellowships will normally last for one year, during which Clore Fellows will attend two intensive residential leadership courses, receive individual tuition and mentoring, extend their management experience through a high profile secondment and have an opportunity to engage in reflection and research. Fellows will have the option of remaining with their present employers, and following the course in stages, or receiving a full-time bursary of �20,000. Direct associated costs, including tuition fees, will be met by the programme."
For more information, please see <http://www.resource.gov.uk/news/press_article.asp?articleid=656>.
OCLC and ALISE announce 2004 research grant award recipients
"DUBLIN, Ohio, USA, January 9, 2004 � OCLC Research and the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) have awarded research grants to Corinne Jorgensen (Florida State University), Feili Tu and Nancy Zimmerman (University of South Carolina), and Elizabeth Yakel (University of Michigan)."
"Jorgensen is Associate Professor at Florida State's School of Information Studies. Her project title is 'Developing A Thesaurus For Indexing Images Across Diverse Domains.'"
"Feili Tu is Assistant Professor and Nancy Zimmerman is Associate Professor at the School of Library and Information Science at South Carolina. Their project is 'Consumer Health Information Services in American Public Libraries: An Assessment of Current Status and Educational Needs.'"
"Elizabeth Yakel, Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Information, will study 'Academic Reference Librarians and Extending Access to Primary Sources.'"
For more information, please see <http://www.oclc.org/research/announcements/2004-01-09.htm>."
Final Draft Statement of International Cataloguing Principles Approved
Announced by Dr. Barbara Tillett, Library of Congress, 6 January 2004.
"The participants of the first IFLA Meeting of Experts on an International Cataloguing Code (IME ICC), held in Frankfurt this past July 2003, have approved a final draft Statement of International Cataloguing Principles. The final draft of the statement has been posted on our conference website at <http://www.ddb.de/news/ifla_conf_papers.htm>."
"Please see its introduction for more explanation of the significance of this important draft that is intended to replace and update the 1961 Paris Principles that formed the basis for essentially all major cataloguing codes used worldwide today. It is further intended to serve as the basis for international standardization in cataloguing."
For more information, please see <http://www.ddb.de/news/ifla_conf_papers.htm>."
CIMI Is Ceasing Operations
A December 16, 2003 announcement from John Perkins, CIMI
"...as of December 15, 2003 and after a long and wonderful run that started in 1990 CIMI is ceasing operations. It was a difficult decision but one the Executive Committee felt was unavoidable after more than a year of searching for additional resources upon which to build a meaningful program. The full text of the announcement is available at http://www.cimi.org "
"Despite the closure CIMI's intellectual assets will be managed so they'll continue to be available to the community. RLG has assumed responsibility for the CIMI website and will maintain its availability. The Handscape project will continue to it's completion mid-2004 administered by RLG..."
For more information, please see <http://www.cimi.org/>."
CLIR Announces Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Scholarly Information Resources for Humanists
"December 8, 2003 - WASHINGTON, D.C.�The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) announces a post-doctoral fellowship program, offered in conjunction with a consortium of academic research institutions, that will establish a new kind of scholarly information professional. It will educate new scholars about the challenges and opportunities created by new forms of scholarly research and the information resources that support them, both traditional and digital."
"The program will offer postdoctoral fellowships to individuals who have earned their Ph.D.s in disciplines in the humanities within the past three years (or who will complete it before starting the program) and who believe that there are opportunities to develop meaningful linkages among disciplinary scholarship, libraries, archives, and evolving digital tools."
"Ten to fifteen fellowships, of one to two years in length, will be awarded in 2004. The fellowship will pay a salary plus benefits at one of the collaborating research libraries, each of which will serve as a fellowship sponsor."
For more information, please see <http://www.clir.org/pubs/press/2003postdoc.html>."
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