Clips & Pointers


D-Lib Magazine
March 2005

Volume 11 Number 3

ISSN 1082-9873

In Brief


Connotea: A Free Online Reference Management Service for Scientists

Contributed by:
Ben Lund, Joanna Scott, Tony Hammond, Timo Hannay
Nature Publishing Group
{b.lund, j.scott, t.hammond, t.hannay}

Connotea [1] is a free online reference management service for scientists created by Nature Publishing Group [2]. Connotea enables you to store your reference list online which means that it's readily accessible, it's linked directly into the literature and it's easily shared with colleagues. By opening up their references to others, researchers are able to discover new leads by connecting to the collections of those with similar interests to them. In fact, Connotea allows users to save links to any online content, making it easy to store their entire collection of reference materials in one place by simply saving links to those materials.

In addition, Connotea recognises links to certain websites, and automatically collects the bibliographic information for the article or book that is being linked to. See the site guide [3] for the current list of supported sites. We offer a number of easy ways to add to your personal library of bookmarks—including one-click saving using bookmarklets. Your library of bookmarks is always accessible and easy to share via a simple URL.

You can organise your collection of references and websites by simply assigning tags (which you can think of as free-form categories or labels) to the links you've saved. You can assign as many tags as you want to a bookmark, and they can be almost anything you like, including phrases.

This is different to the conventional approach of organising links into hierarchical folders, and makes your library of bookmarks much easier to navigate. It takes away the need to put a link in just one place, and removes the frustration of having to hunt through sub-folders.

Storing your links online, and organising them with simple tags, leads to some interesting possibilities for discovering new content that is relevant to your interests. Because tags are simply words, other users will end up using the same tags as you. This is an interesting way of finding related content—if you click on one of the tag names underneath an article title, you'll be taken to a page that lists all the links that have been given that tag by other users. Connotea also gives you a list of related tags. Clicking on those tag names is another way of finding similar content.

If more than one user has saved the same article, the number of users is indicated with a link. Clicking on that link shows you a list of all the users who have bookmarked the article, and a list of the tags they used for it. You can then view another user's entire library of bookmarks by clicking on their username. Because that user saved the same article as you, you may be interested in other articles in their library.

Clicking on user and tag names allows you to view the articles for one user or one tag, but you can actually filter for combinations of users and tags. Connotea supports Boolean filtering on both users and tags, and combinations of the two, either through a search box, or through a simple URL linking syntax. Moreover, every page listing bookmarks on Connotea has a link to an RSS feed. This allows you to be notified of new additions to the page by subscribing to the RSS feed in your RSS reader. For example, if you discover another user who seems to be bookmarking interesting things under a certain tag, you can navigate to the relevant page and subscribe to the RSS feed.

We also maintain an RSS feed for news about Connotea [4] which is a means for keeping up with the latest developments and features. Here are some things that we're currently working on:

  • Import references from [5], CiteULike [6], or an RIS file
  • Export references to EndNote and other reference managers
  • Collect bibliographic information from more sources
  • Enable user groups so one can browse the bookmarks, for example, of a whole research team
  • Add support for a private bookmarking facility

Connotea was created by Nature Publishing Group's New Technology team. The ideas behind it come from, a general collaborative bookmarking service. Connotea takes this concept and adds some features to tailor it to the needs of scientists. CiteULike is a similar online academic bookmark management service, developed independently of Connotea. We're in close contact with CiteULike to ensure that our two systems work well together.

A pair of papers, to be published in a forthcoming issue of D-Lib Magazine, will provide a general overview of the social bookmarking tool landscape and then discuss Connotea as a case study [7, 8].


[1] Connotea, <>.

[2] Nature Publishing Group, <>.

[3] Site guide for Connotea, <>.

[4] RSS feed for news about Connotea, <>.

[5], <>.

[6] CiteULike, <>.

[7] Hammond, Tony, Timo Hannay, Ben Lund, Joanna Scott, "Social Bookmarking Tools (I): General Overview," D-Lib Magazine (forthcoming).

[8] Hammond, Tony, Timo Hannay, Ben Lund, Joanna Scott, "Social Bookmarking Tools (II): A Case Study - Connotea," D-Lib Magazine (forthcoming).

A New Project: Training for Audiovisual Preservation in Europe (TAPE)

Contributed by:
Yola de Lusenet
Executive Secretary
European Commission on Preservation and Access (ECPA)

Everyone who grew up in 20th-century Europe has witnessed momentous events in history – but perhaps only from the comfort of their own home. Film, video, and sound recordings have taken us to every corner of the globe – and beyond: they made us hear the speeches of political leaders and the songs of whales, they made us see life in distant cities, microscopic creatures and the first man on the moon.

The history of the past century has been recorded on the millions of disks, films and tapes held in large archives for sound, film, and broadcasting materials. Outside these major archives, nonspecialist institutions hold the most diverse recordings, created or collected for, e.g., anthropological and linguistic research, oral history projects, or documentation of specific subject fields. All these recordings are at risk of being lost through media decay and evolving technology forcing playback equipment out of use. Digitization would enhance the chances of their survival and help to unlock these rich resources, but not everyone has as yet access to the expertise to convert their analogue holdings.

What is TAPE?
1 September 2004 marked the beginning of TAPE (Training for Audiovisual Preservation in Europe), a 3-year project for raising awareness and training by expert meetings, research, publications and workshops. TAPE is directed at cultural and research institutions that (also) hold audiovisual collections – but not as the core of their holdings. Activities in TAPE are set up to explore the requirements for continued access to audiovisual materials, from preservation of analogue carriers to application of new technologies. TAPE hopes to contribute to the identification, preservation and opening up of collections providing living documentation of the world of the 20th century.

On 14-15 February 2005 specialists in the audiovisual field who have experience as trainers met in Rome for a 2-day seminar. This working group discussed AV training on European and national level, teaching materials and models for training courses. The results will be used as input for a European workshop scheduled for the fall of 2005 (to be repeated in 2006 and 2007). Partners in various countries will organize national or regional events as of September 2005.

Meanwhile work is progressing on a survey of problems and priorities in managing AV collections. This builds onto previous work done (inter)nationally and is specifically aimed at locating 'hidden' collections in a variety of institutions. The survey will use desk research, working visits, existing data, and a questionnaire (where data are still lacking).

The results of the survey will be combined with a state-of-the art report on approaches for preservation and digitization, and case studies of good practice. Together this will be written up into an accessible introduction on audiovisual collections. TAPE partners are planning to produce also national reports.

A technology working group is studying technical aspects of preservation and digitization, other working groups focus on user requirements and on content delivery (in terms of presentation, usability, information design, and target groups). The activities of the working groups are practically oriented and will feed directly into the training programme.

TAPE partners
   European Commission on Preservation and Access - Amsterdam
   Finnish Jazz & Pop Archive - Helsinki
   Head Office of State Archives in Poland - Warsaw
   Phonogrammarchiv, Austrian Academy of Sciences - Vienna
   Reproduction, Binding and Restoration Centre for the State Archives of Italy - Rome
Twenty associate partners from all over Europe will also contribute to the program.

TAPE is subsidized by the Culture 2000 programme of the European Union.

More information is available at <>.

Amrita Colloquium on Digital Libraries (ACDL-2005): A Report

Contributed by:
J. K. Vijayakumar and Prashant R. Nair
Organising Secretaries, ACDL-2005

The first Amrita Colloquium on Digital Libraries (ACDL-2005), <>, was organized by Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Deemed University, <>, at its Coimbatore campus on February 5, 2005. Building digital collections and infrastructures and providing access to them is a challenge for libraries. The objective of the colloquium was to showcase different experiences in international digital library (DL) technologies as well as discuss how to manage digital collections in libraries.

Dr. T. A. V. Murthy, the Director of Information and Library Network Centre (UGC-INFLIBNET), inaugurated ACDL-2005 and highlighted the role of Digital Libraries in changing methods of traditional education and information transfer. He also stressed the need for digitizing India's precious documents and other materials and, as part of that, to develop an appropriate model for digitization. He narrated UGC's efforts in providing digital information to the millions of young minds, and networking all Indian universities through powerful communication networks. In his address, Dr. R. B. Gaddagimath, Chief Librarian of Gulbarga University (and the Guest of Honor at ACDL) congratulated the Amrita fraternity for initiating this colloquium, and he stressed that government and private cooperation is viable even in digital libraries and resource sharing. Mr. J. K. Vijayakumar, the Organizing Secretary, introduced the panelists and gave a detailed view of the six ACDL sessions. Dr. V. Radhakrishnan and Dr. S. Krishnamurthy, Deans of Research and Administration, respectively, at Amrita University, also spoke at ACDL and extended their support for the various initiatives. Mr. Ajai Narendran of Amrita University provided a showcase of the Amrita Digital Library initiative to the dignitaries and Colloquim participants. Earlier, Mr. Prashant Nair, Senior Lecturer - IT and Organizing Secretary, welcomed the dignitaries, invitees and delegates.

The Colloquium began with the presentation of Prof. Edward Proctor, Electronic Resources Librarian at Southwest Missouri State University, USA. based on the website <>. He stressed the importance of effective and meaningful searching of the Internet and Digital Libraries. According to Prof. Proctor, search engines still cause confusion to some searchers. The problems of misspellings, dead links, selection criteria, etc. were addressed by Prof. Proctor, and he said that the professionally managed subject-wise search engines and gateways would be more helpful for serious searchers. Dr. Erdmute Lapp, Director of Bochum University Library, Germany, showcased her experiences in building a University Library portal containing an OPAC, a Union Catalogue, Web resources and other digital collections at Bochum, <>. Projecting a library website as a database of databases and services, where a Digital Library has a modular structure that will facilitate e-learning and e-publishing, will be the need of the hour. Dr. P. Pichappan, from DLIS - Annamalai University and Editor of the Journal of Digital Information Management, India, spoke about Webometrics and its impact on Web searching and DL searching. As an eminent researcher in this new area, and based at <>, he correlated web linking and web page ranking to effective bibliographic relationships among the hugely available web resources, to avoid the inefficiency of any retrieval system in providing related resources.

In the afternoon session, Mr. M. G. Sreekumar, Librarian and Head of Center for Digital Libraries at Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode, India, demonstrated the open Digital Libraries created using Greenstone open source DL Software. His Library Portal is an excellent example for how today's library websites should be (see <>). Mr. Sreekumar explained various components of a DL system, its integration, metadata, and Open Archives Initiatives (OAI) worldwide. Dr. Tamara Pianos, Coordinator of Vascoda at National Library of Science and Technology (TIB) and University Library Hannover at Germany, showcased the German Subject-Based Virtual Library called Vascoda, <>. It is the German central access point for interdisciplinary searches ranging from humanities and social sciences to medical studies, engineering, and more. Dr. Harish Chandra, the Librarian at Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, spoke about issues and solutions related to building a Digital Library, based on his experiences at <>. He stressed infrastructure, connectivity, human resources, and standardisation issues that come up during the planning and implementation stages of real Digital Libraries.

At the end of the Colloquium, all panelists participated in discussion that stressed the importance of accepting the challenges involved in going digital. Around 55 delegates from various states attended the colloquium, and they interacted actively during the sessions and panel discussion. Each session was 30 minutes long, and participants had ample time to interact with the panelists. The Colloquium concluded with a formal vote of thanks from Dr. K. Adhinarayan of Amrita University.

Introducing the EAD Report Card

Contributed by:
Merrilee Proffitt
Program Officer
Mountain View, California, USA

RLG's EAD Report Card (released January 2005) is the first automated program for checking the quality of your EAD encoding. Created by popular demand, this Web application supplements RLG's award-winning RLG Best Practice Guidelines for Encoded Archival Description. Choose a finding aid, and the program will flag any discrepancies and take you to the relevant section of the encoding guidelines.

RLG plans to make the EAD Report Card code available as open source later in 2005. You will be able to download it and run it on your desktop , which should make the checkup even faster. As an open-source tool, it can also be programmed to reflect your local best practices.

RLG commissioned the EAD Report Card as part of our continuing commitment to making archival collections more accessible on the Web. In addition to the guidelines and the report card, RLG also provides access to RLG Archival Resources, a database of archival materials; all institutions are encouraged to submit their finding aids to this database.


EAD Report card: <>

RLG Best Practice Guidelines for Encoded Archival Description: <>.

In the News

Excerpts from Recent Press Releases and Announcements

MLA welcomes Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee's report on England's public libraries

March 10, 2005 - "The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) backs the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee's comments on the urgent need for action to repair and redevelop public library buildings and its call for internet access in all public libraries to be free of charge. These are two pressing issues highlighted in the committee's report on the inquiry into England's public library service, which is published today...."

"...Free internet access: The Select Committee considered the internet to be an integral part of the public library service and, as such, users should be able to access the web free of charge. In most library authorities this is the case, but a few are levying fees after the first half hour or hour, and others are considering introducing charges. "

"Mark Wood [MLA Chairman], 'We understand the attraction for cash-strapped local authorities, but free access to information, creativity and knowledge through the public library should be available to everyone – whether it is contained in books or on the internet.'"

For more information, please see the full press release at <>.

Farm Family of the Week Collection goes live on CHARM website

March 9, 2005 - "Thousands of photographs of Mississippi farm families during the nineteen-fifties and sixties can now be searched and viewed on the Internet, thanks to a project of Mississippi State University's Consortium for the History of Agricultural and Rural Mississippi (CHARM). Photographs and scripts of 136 families from the Howard Langfitt WLBT 'Farm Family of the Week' Collection are the first group completed from some 17,000 images and 342 scripts which are being preserved, digitized and made available to the public."

"...The mission of CHARM is to promote understanding and appreciation of the role played by agriculture, forestry and rural life in Mississippi's past by collecting, preserving and providing access to important historical materials as a foundation for teaching, learning and research."

For more information, please contact Mattie Sink, Manuscripts Coordinator at 662-325-3848. The collection web site is at <>.

ICT training highlights changing role of library workforce

March 1, 2005 - "All 40,000 public library staff across the UK have received ICT training and are using new skills to improve services for library users."

"A major new study undertaken by the Tavistock Institute and published today assesses the impact of this �20 million training programme, which has been funded as part of the People's Network, the national project to link all 4200 public libraries to the internet. The study highlights a paradigm shift for public libraries, spurred by the introduction of new technologies. It shows how the People's Network has helped open up a range of possible future scenarios for libraries and begun to shape new professional identities for library staff."

"Whereas the current library service is focused on the individual and the transmission of information in which the user is a 'consumer', the report suggests that ICT is presenting public libraries with an extended role, where new technologies can provide a broader social exchange mechanism. ICT can be used as a tool, for example, in life-long learning initiatives, civil society and e-government services."

For more information, please see <>.

DOE/OSTI Joins CrossRef to Facilitate Reuse of Science and Technology Reports

February 28, 2005 - "The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) has agreed to participate in CrossRef, a nationally-recognized reference-linking service for scholarly and professional content, in order to facilitate access to the Agency's vast stores of scientific and technical information. OSTI and CrossRef plan to use Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to facilitate the access to and re-use of 90,000 science research reports available electronically on OSTI's Information Bridge ( A DOI provides a way to track, exchange and manage content over time in the digital universe, regardless of changing information related to that content."

"'We are pleased to join CrossRef in pioneering this first-of-a-kind government-private partnership,' said Dr. Walter Warnick, Director of OSTI. 'We believe that coupling the vast resources available on Information Bridge with the reference-linking capabilities of CrossRef will advance OSTI's mission of making DOE research results more accessible.'"

"The Information Bridge serves as an open source for full-text documents reporting DOE-sponsored research in physics, chemistry, materials, biology, environmental sciences, energy technologies, engineering, computer and information science, renewable energy, and other topics of interest to the Department. These documents have been generated by the DOE national laboratories, other contractors, and grantees, and range from 1995 to the present. Legacy documents are included as they become available in electronic format."

For more information, please contact Cathey Daniels, Media Contact, at <[email protected]>.

Fedora 2.0 - A Powerful Open-Source Solution for Digital Repositories

February 24, 2005 - "The Fedora Project ( is proud to announce the release of version 2.0 of the Fedora open-source digital repository software. This release represents a significant increase in features and functionality over previous releases. New features include the ability to represent and query relationships among digital objects, a simple XML encoding for Fedora digital objects, enhanced ingest and export interfaces for interoperability with other repository systems, enhanced administrative features, and improved documentation. More than ever, Fedora is capable of serving as the foundation for many types of information management applications, including institutional repositories, digital libraries, records management systems, archives, and educational software."

"As with prior versions of the software, all Fedora functionality is exposed through web service interfaces. At the core of this functionality is the Fedora object model that enables the aggregation of multiple content items into digital objects. This allows objects to have several accessible "representations." For example, a digital object can represent an electronic document in multiple formats, a digital image with its descriptive metadata, or a complex science publication containing text, data, and video. Services can be associated with digital objects, allowing dynamically-produced views, or "virtual representations" of the objects. Historical views of digital objects are preserved through a powerful content versioning system."

"The new Fedora 2.0 introduces the "Resource Index" which is a module that allows a Fedora repository to be viewed as a graph of inter-related objects. Using the Resource Description Framework (RDF), relationships among objects can be declared, and queries against these relationships are supported by an RDF-based triple store. Fedora 2.0 also introduces "Fedora Object XML" (FOXML) which is a simple XML format for encoding Fedora digital objects. To support multiple XML standards, Fedora's ingest/export interface has been enhanced, permitting digital objects to be encoded in different formats. Currently, there is support for METS and FOXML. In future releases other XML formats will be supported, including MPEG21-DIDL. Other new features include a mass-update utility for modifying objects, a new administrative reporting interface, improved documentation, and tutorials."

"The Fedora open-source software is jointly developed by Cornell University and the University of Virginia with generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Fedora 2.0 marks the final milestone in Phase I, a three year project to develop the core Fedora Repository system. Now underway, Fedora Phase II is a three year development project that will focus on advanced features including workflow, digital preservation, policy enforcement, information networks, and federated repositories."

"For more information, contact Ronda Grizzle (, Technical Coordinator; Sandra Payette (, Co-director Cornell University; or Thornton Staples (, Co-director University of Virginia."

Coming Up Taller Nominations Due March 24

February 23, 2005 - "The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) is inviting nominations for its 2005 Coming Up Taller Awards. Offered in partnership with IMLS [Institute for Museum and Library Services], the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Coming Up Taller Awards recognize the accomplishments of after-school and out-of- school programs and activities across the country. The $10,000 Coming Up Taller Awards assist organizations, further knowledge, and encourage development of future programs."

"At the 2004 Coming Up Taller Awards ceremony, First Lady Laura Bush remarked that 'the arts and humanities are critical building blocks for a child's development and they provide a strong foundation for a lifetime of learning. ... The study of the arts and humanities gives children the chance to be extraordinary – the power to be themselves.' For nomination forms, visit the Coming Up Taller Web site at <>, or contact PCAH at 202-682-5409 for more information. A list of the 2004 winners can also be found at the Coming Up Taller Web site. The nomination deadline is March 24, 2005."

For more information, please see <>.

New Service Delivers Science Information to Desktops

Alliance helps public stay 'alert' to the latest science discoveries from 12 federal science agencies, introduces Alert Service

February 17, 2005 - ", the 'go to' Web portal for federal science information, now provides a free and convenient 'Alert' service that delivers information about the most current science developments right to desktops each Monday."

"Launched at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Feb. 17-21, 2005) in Washington, D.C., the Alert Service provides weekly emails to those interested in science across the nation."

"From the homepage (, individuals can set up an account and let do the searching for them. Each week, up to 25 relevant results from selected information sources will be sent to the subscriber's email account. Results are displayed in the Alert email and in a personalized Alert Archive, which stores six weeks of alerts results. In the Archive, past activity can be reviewed and Alert profiles edited."

For more information, please see the full press release at <>.

Internet Pioneers Cerf and Kahn to Receive ACM Turing Award

Team Developed Architecture for Computers to Communicate

February 16, 2005 - "ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, has named Vinton G. Cerf and Robert E. Kahn the winners of the 2004 A.M. Turing Award, considered the 'Nobel Prize of Computing,' for pioneering work on the design and implementation of the Internet's basic communications protocols. The Turing Award, first awarded in 1966, and named for British mathematician Alan M. Turing, carries a $100,000 prize, with financial support provided by Intel Corporation. Cerf and Kahn developed TCP/IP, a format and procedure for transmitting data that enables computers in diverse environments to communicate with each other. This computer networking protocol, widely used in information technology for a variety of applications, allows networks to be joined into a network of networks now known as the Internet."

"ACM President David Patterson said the collaboration of Cerf and Kahn in defining the Internet architecture and its associated protocols represents a cornerstone of the information technology field. 'Their work has enabled the many rapid and accessible applications on the Internet that we rely on today, including email, the World Wide Web, Instant Messaging, Peer-to-Peer transfers, and a wide range of collaboration and conferencing tools. These developments have helped make IT a critical component across the industrial world,' he said."

"'The Turing Award is widely acknowledged as our industry's highest recognition of the scientists and engineers whose innovations have fueled the digital revolution,' said Intel's David Tennenhouse, Vice President in the Corporate Technology Group and Director of Research. 'This award also serves to encourage the next generation of technology pioneers to deliver the ideas and inventions that will continue to drive our industry forward. As part of its long-standing support for innovation and incubation, Intel is proud to sponsor this year's Turing Award. As a fellow DARPA alumnus, I am especially pleased to congratulate this year's winners, who are outstanding role models, mentors and research collaborators to myself and many others within the network research community.'"

Making Networked Computers Communicate

"In 1973, Cerf joined Kahn in a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, now called DARPA) project to link three independent networks into an integrated 'network of networks.' They sought to develop an open-architecture network model for heterogeneous networks to communicate with each other independent of individual hardware and software configuration, with sufficient flexibility and end-to-end reliability to overcome transmission failures and disparity among the participating networks. Their collaboration led to the realization that a 'gateway' (now known as a router) was needed between each network to accommodate different interfaces and route packets of data. This meant designating host computers on a global Internet, for which they introduced the notion of an Internet Protocol (IP) address."

"As a graduate student at the University of California at Los Angeles, Cerf had contributed to a host-to-host protocol for ARPA's fledgling packet-switching network known as ARPANET. Kahn, prior to his arrival at ARPA, led the architectural development of the ARPANET packet switches while at Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN), and had showcased the ARPANET in 1972, at the first International Conference on Computer Communications. ARPANET had already connected some 40 different computers and demonstrated the world's first networked email application."

"In May 1974, they published a paper describing a new method of communication called transmission-control protocol (TCP) to route messages or packets of data. Like an envelope containing a letter, TCP broke serial streams of information into pieces, enclosed these pieces in envelopes called 'datagrams' marked with standardized 'to and from' addresses, and passed them through the underlying network to deliver them to host computers. Only the host computers would 'open' the envelope and read the contents."

"This networking arrangement allowed for a three-way 'handshake' that introduced distant and different computers to each other and confirmed their readiness to communicate in a virtual space. In 1978, Cerf and several colleagues split the original protocol into two parts, with TCP responsible for controlling and tracking the flow of data packets ('letters'), and the Internet Protocol (IP) responsible for addressing and forwarding individual packets ('envelopes'). The new protocol, TCP/IP, has since become the standard for all Internet communications."

For more information, please see the full press release at <>.

New national resource to bring major benefits to researchers

February 15, 2005 - "The contents of journals and other serials represent an immense and invaluable resource for researchers in all subjects. However, the task of identifying, locating and accessing these serials, held by institutions across the UK, has up to now presented a significant challenge. The national Serials Union Catalogue (SUNCAT) was today launched to help meet this challenge."

"Funded by JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) and the RSLP (Research Support Libraries Programme) since 2003, and developed by EDINA at the University of Edinburgh in partnership with Ex Libris, the catalogue has achieved a critical mass of some 3.7m records. These are made up of records from national libraries, the largest UK academic library collections and international databases, such as the ISSN World Serials database and CONSER, the database of MARC21 serials records available from the Library of Congress."

"To access the pilot SUNCAT service and for further information, please go to:"

For more information, please see the full press release at <>.

Copyright 2005 © Corporation for National Research Initiatives

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