Clips & Pointers


D-Lib Magazine
November 2006

Volume 12 Number 11

ISSN 1082-9873

In Brief


PLANETS: Preservation and Long-term Access through NETworked Services

Contributed by:
Adam Farquhar and Panos Kudumakis
PLANETS Co-ordinators
eIS Strategy & Architecture
The British Library

As successive file formats are superceded and become obsolete, there is a danger that information held in such older formats may become difficult or impossible to retrieve – resulting in the loss of vast amounts of unique and valuable information.

EU member countries produce around 5 billion documents per year; of this total, around 2% (100 million documents per year) comprise information that is worth archiving. Around 2 million documents out of this sub-total are held in formats that constitute a long-term preservation risk. Taking into account the production costs of these documents – along with estimated worth of the information to others – it has been estimated that information conservatively valued at around 3 billion Euro currently languishes in endangered formats.

To address this threat of a 'digital black hole', the PLANETS project brings together the unique experience required to research, develop, deliver and productise practical digital preservation solutions. The consortium includes, European national libraries and archives, leading research institutions, and technology companies: The British Library, The National Library of the Netherlands, Austrian National Library, The Royal Library of Denmark, State and University Library of Denmark, The National Archives of the Netherlands, The National Archives of England, Wales and the United Kingdom, Swiss Federal Archives, University of Cologne, University of Freiburg, HATII at the University of Glasgow, Vienna University of Technology, ARC Seibersdorf Research GmbH (AT), IBM Netherlands B.V., Microsoft Research Ltd (UK) and Tessella Support Services Plc (NL).

The PLANETS project will enable organisations to improve decision-making about long-term preservation, ensure long-term access to their valued digital content and control the costs of preservation actions through increased automation and scaleable infrastructure.

PLANETS will develop practical tools for characterisation of digital objects and tools to enable future representation of file formats. A preservation planning module will be developed that will enable organisations to set up preservation plans, and prepare and execute actions, to ensure perpetual access to their archived collections. The project partners will share their results with the digital preservation community as soon as possible and invite other organisations to give feedback and join PLANETS in setting up a digital preservation testbed.

A key objective of PLANETS is to create an environment within which commercial services to support different aspects of the preservation lifecycle can flourish. Providing a way to integrate stand alone tools, products and services into a viable preservation infrastructure is difficult. The PLANETS interoperability framework, through the publication of open, common interfaces, will provide the foundations for a competitive market place to which third party vendors can bring preservation tool and service products.

The four-year project, funded by the European Commission Information Science and Technologies Framework Programme 6 Call 5 (FP6 Call 5), officially began on 1 June 2006. The EU will contribute 8.6M of the total project spend of 14M Euro. Further information can be found at <>.

ASCB Launches Cell Biology Image & Video Library

Contributed by:
Cindy Boeke
Assistant Curator
Image & Video Library
The American Society for Cell Biology
Bethesda, Maryland, USA

The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) now offers a source for peer-reviewed, high-quality visual and written resources from cell biology innovators: the newly launched ASCB Image & Video Library (IVL), available at <>.

All IVL items undergo a rigorous review process similar to reviews performed by journals. As a result, users of IVL resources can be confident of the authenticity and importance to cell biology of the images, videos, digital books, and annotations on the website. Many IVL resources have profound historical value; others represent current depictions of myriad cell processes.

The IVL contains digital books in PDF format, JPEG2000 images, and videos in QuickTime format. The annotations provide a rich source of information that can be used as teaching and/or study aids. And the IVL supports the Open Access concept: All resources are freely available for educational and research purposes.

For more information, contact <>.

In the News

Excerpts from Recent Press Releases and Announcements

NSF and ARL Team on Groundbreaking Workshop on Digital Data Stewardship: Final Report Now Available

November 14, 2006 - "Today, digital data collections are everywhere. People snap digital photos, download music, and Tivo their favorite TV programs. Scientists and engineers, too, depend on digital information – from clinical data in medicine and the life sciences to satellite data for climate research to census information for economics research, data forms the single most prevalent driver for new discoveries in the 21st century. But will today's digital data be available tomorrow?"

"...To explore the challenges of digital data stewardship and preservation, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) teamed to conduct a workshop in September, 2006, on "New Collaborative Relationships: Academic Libraries in the Digital Data Universe." The workshop was co-chaired by San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) Director Fran Berman, and University Librarian Wendy Lougee from the University of Minnesota, and organized by Prudence Adler, ARL Associate Executive Director."

"...The final workshop report, To Stand the Test of Time: Long-Term Stewardship of Digital Data Sets in Science and Engineering (Washington, DC: ARL, 2006) provides a wealth of information on the issues of digital preservation and a sourcebook of related reports. The report is now available on the ARL Web site ("

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

CrossRef Extends Web Services - New OAI-PMH Interface, and Partnerships with Scirus and EMBL-EBI

November 8, 2006 - "CrossRef, the reference linking network for scholarly publishing, announced today the release of an OAI-PMH (Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting) interface to its Web Services metadata distribution program. In addition, it announced that it had recently signed both Scirus and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) as new CWS partners."

"CrossRef Web Services (CWS) is a suite of tools to enable authorized partners to collect metadata on a widespread, cross-publisher basis, potentially covering up to 23 million metadata records now included in CrossRef. CWS was developed earlier this year to standardize how published content is crawled, indexed, and linked to on the Web. Participation by CrossRef member publishers is optional."

"CrossRef's new OAI-PMH repository interface will serve as the central point for the distribution of metadata from participating publishers. The service utilizes a robust and widely adopted technology targeted at consumers of large quantities of metadata (for more information, see; access to the CrossRef's metadata repository is controlled by IP authentication and can be tailored to provide specific content from select publishers to each authorized recipient."

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

NCLIS Urges Congress to take all necessary action to ensure Net Neutrality

November 7, 2006 - "The U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) today announced its position on Internet neutrality ('net neutrality'), currently being debated in the Congress."

"'The current discussion centers on whether content transmission on the Internet should be subject to a system of prioritization known as tiered service,' said Commission Chairman Beth Fitzsimmons. 'So far, the underlying transmission of information treats all packets of information equally but this could change unless Congress acts to prevent a move to a tiered service.'"

"...With today's announcement, the Commission takes the position that – with respect to Internet neutrality – Congress should take action to assure the tiered access is prevented. In fact, according to a study done under contract for the Commission, the government has already taken a stand. In 1992, when Congress permitted commercial traffic on the Internet, the Committee report on the legislation noted that the change did not alter the 'goals or characteristics' of the network. Congressman Rick Boucher, the Chairman of the House subcommittee that developed the legislation, explained during a hearing on the legislation: 'It is essential as the network is structured that all commercial providers of network services receive equal treatment and that Government policy in managing the network not favor any provider or set of providers over others.'"

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

OCLC awarded Gates grant to develop library marketing campaign

November 6, 2007 - "OCLC Online Computer Library Center, the world's largest library cooperative, has been awarded a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for development of a potential national marketing campaign to increase awareness of the value of libraries, and the need for support for libraries at local, state and national levels."

"The $1.2 million grant will be used by OCLC to conduct research, develop strategies, create materials and test elements of a national marketing campaign to demonstrate the value of libraries, and the need to increase support for libraries to meet the changing needs and expectations of library users. The project will aim to create a national campaign that can form an umbrella for regional- and local-level programs. OCLC has selected Leo Burnett USA as the agency partner in the project."

"Trends suggest that U.S. public libraries will find it difficult to adequately fund operations over the next 3 to 5 years – a period in which public libraries will come under increasing pressure to modernize programs, facilities and electronic infrastructure and offer more Internet-based services and electronic collections. At the same time, studies indicate that most people are unaware of all the types of information and services libraries make available to their patrons."

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

CLIR Board Elects New Chair, Vice Chair

November 6, 2006 - "The Board of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) elected Paula Kaufman chair and Wendy Lougee vice chair at its meeting November 3. Ms. Kaufman, interim chief information officer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), succeeds Charles Phelps, who retired from the Board after serving his term limit of nine years. Wendy Lougee, university librarian and McKnight Presidential Professor at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, succeeds Ms. Kaufman as vice chair."

"Herman Pabbruwe, chief executive officer of Brill Academic Publishers, will continue as CLIR treasurer. James F. Williams II, dean of libraries at the University of Colorado at Boulder, will continue as secretary."

"The Council on Library and Information Resources is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the management of information for research, teaching, and learning. CLIR works to expand access to information, however recorded and preserved, as a public good."

For more information, please see <>.

NCLIS Opposes Legislation to Restrict E-Rate: National Commission Links Access and Learning Issues in Resisting New Legal Requirement Being Considered by Congress

November 3, 2006 - "The U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) today announced its concern about proposed legislation that will, if enacted, require all schools and libraries which receive federal funds to restrict access to digital social networking tools and online communities. Particularly affected, according the Commission Chair Beth Fitzsimmons of Ann Arbor, MI will be schools and libraries receiving discounted telecommunication services under the E-rate, the familiar program name of the extension of Universal Service authorized by Congress in the Telecommunication Act of 1996. "

"...According to a recent study prepared under contract for the Commission, the success of the program is widely documented. In Augusta, ME for example, e-rate funds enabled the school district to participate in the Maine Distance Learning Project, giving students access to language and Advanced Placement classes (as well as virtual field trips). In Mays Landing, NJ the library is able to provide patrons with many services via its web page, including an online multimedia catalog system, an online reservation system, a free audio book download site, and an online book club, as well as links to subscription databases. Additionally, at the library in Mays Landing the network infrastructure, built with e-rate discounted funds, is so well designed and functional that the library has been able to procure grants to pay for the digitization of county periodicals and historical records, including immigration documents. In Santa Fe, NM, the only school for the deaf in the state uses the discounted programs to expose children, some as young as two or three years old, to technology that gives them a communication method they will use for the rest of their lives. "

"Under current law, the Children's Internet Protection Act already requires schools and libraries receiving discounted services to block or filter Internet access to visual depictions that are obscene, contain child pornography, or are harmful to minors (certification that access is filtered is required with the application). The proposed legislation, the Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006, will go further, requiring schools and libraries that receive universal service support to enforce a policy that prohibits access to a commercial social networking website or chat room. "

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

Charles J. Henry Named CLIR President

November 3, 2006 - The Board of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) today announced the appointment of Charles J. Henry as CLIR's next president. He will start early in 2007."

"Mr. Henry is vice provost and university librarian at Rice University, a position he has held since 1996. He is responsible for library services and programs, including the Digital Library Initiative and the Digital Media Center. He is also publisher of Rice University Press, which has recently been reborn as the nation's first all-digital university press."

"Mr. Henry is a trustee of the Digital Library Federation and chair of the advisory committee for the Information Resource Center at the International University of Bremen. He serves on the advisory board of Stanford University Libraries and on the ACLS Commission on Cyberinfrastructure in the Humanities and Social Sciences. He received a Fulbright senior scholar grant for library sciences in New Zealand and a Fulbright award for the study of medieval literature in Vienna, Austria. Mr. Henry has a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Columbia University."

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

Change of location for the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography and Other Resources frm Charles E. Bailey, Jr.

November 3, 2006 announcement from Charles E. Bailey, Jr. "I have resigned my position as Assistant Dean for Digital Library Planning and Development at the University of Houston Libraries effective 1/31/07. "

"Effective immediately, there are several important changes to the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography (SEPB), Scholarly Electronic Publishing Resources (SEPR), and the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (SEPW) that users should be aware of. These publications have been moved to my domain (

"While the UH Libraries will archive SEPB versions up to version 64, no new versions will be published on their Website. If you maintain a catalog record for SEPB, I would ask that you update it with the new address."

"You can continue to follow my digital publishing activities at my domain and at DigitalKoans: <>"

For more information, please contact Charles Bailey at <>.

Southampton and MIT launch Web Science collaboration

November 2, 2006 - "The University of Southampton and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology today announced the launch of a long-term research collaboration that aims to produce the fundamental scientific advances necessary to guide the future design and use of the World Wide Web."

"The Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI) will generate a research agenda for understanding the scientific, technical and social challenges underlying the growth of the Web. Of particular interest is the volume of information on the Web that documents more and more aspects of human activity and knowledge. WSRI research projects will weigh such questions as, how do we access information and assess its reliability? By what means may we assure its use complies with social and legal rules? How will we preserve the Web over time?..."

"...The joint MIT-Southampton initiative will provide a global forum for scientists and scholars to collaborate on the first multidisciplinary scientific research effort specifically designed to study the Web at all scales of size and complexity, and to develop a new discipline of Web science for future generations of researchers."

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

American Library Association holds fourth online election in 2007

October 31, 2006 - "For the fourth year, the American Library Association (ALA) will hold its election online. All paid ALA members as of Jan. 31, 2007, are eligible to vote in the 2007 election. Polls will open on March 15, 2007."

"To insure that member e-mail records are accurate, ALA has been conducting e-mail tests in October 2006. Members who change their e-mail addresses prior to January 31, 2007, can update their information by:

  • Visiting
  • Calling 800-545-2433 (press 5)
  • E-mailing [email protected] (Please state on the Subject Line "update my e-mail address")."

"Members who do not have an e-mail address at home or work, but wish to vote online may want to consider signing up for a free e-mail account from a service, such as Yahoo ("

"Members may choose to vote by either a Web or a paper ballot."

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

CrossRef Simple-text Query Service Officially Launches

October 30, 2006 - "October 30, 2006. CrossRef, the reference-linking network for scholarly and professional publishers, is pleased to announce the launch of its freely available Simple-Text Query service to facilitate DOI look-up for researchers and publishers. In partnership with Inera, CrossRef has deployed a custom version of Inera's eXtyles refXpress™ that parses unstructured, simple-text references into granular and valid XML and returns any matching DOIs for those references. The interface has been running on a more limited, trial basis since February of this year."

"The link to the Simple-Text Query service is featured on CrossRef's homepage, A simple cut-and-paste form accepts references formatted in a wide range of bibliographic styles and returns the DOI for the publication if one is found in CrossRef. One or more references may be pasted into the form on this page. For editorial purposes, users can easily check the accuracy of a reference by clicking on the returned DOI and viewing the bibliographic information available directly from the publisher...."

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

New Digital Book Standard Released: Software Companies and Publishers Announce Implementation Plans

October 30, 2006 - "The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), the standards and trade association for digital publishing, announced today the release of a new technical standard to facilitate digital content creation, distribution and use by consumers. In addition to the Open eBook Publication Structure (OEBPS), an XML standard for authoring digital books, the IDPF has now released a new standard for packaging a digital publication, including the contents of the publication, metadata, signatures, encryption, rights and other information into one standard file. Entitled the Open eBook Publication Structure Container Format (OCF), the new IDPF standard will allow publishers to release a single standard file into their sales and distribution channels and will also enable consumers to exchange unencrypted eBooks and other digital publications between reading systems that support the new standard...."

"...The standard specifies a ZIP-based packaging format that is an extension of OASIS' Open Document Format Standard (ISO/IEC 26300). The OCF specification and additional information can be found at <>. OCF files can easily be identified by the file extension ".epub"."

"...Over forty publishers, technology companies and organizations were involved in the OCF Working Group, the committee responsible for the creation of the standard, including Adobe Systems Inc., Benetech, DAISY Consortium, eBook Technologies Inc., Hachette Book Group, Harlequin, HarperCollins, iRex Technologies, Mobipocket (An company), netLibrary, OverDrive Inc., Random House, Simon & Schuster, WGBH and many others."

For more information, please see <>.

Special Issue on Very Large Digital Libraries (VLDL) International Journal of Digital Libraries (IJDL)

October 30, 2006. Announced by Min-Yen Kan National University of Singapore - "As the number of digital libraries increases and their scale grows rapidly, it is timely and critical to address research issues in such large-scale digital libraries. This is evidenced by the recent proliferation of articles and talks that concern scaling issues in the context of digital libraries, and the growing interests of other areas of computer science investigating problems that are of interest to the DL community. "

"Very large digital libraries also emerge from the commercial sector in recent years. These are examples of digital libraries with a very large number of digital objects (i.e., articles and their metadata). One can also imagine a meta digital library that consists of a very large number of independent digital libraries, or a digital library that draws a very large number of users (e.g., SkyServer). It is also quite possible for a digital library to have all of these scaling perspectives - large number of objects, underlying digital libraries, and users. "

"Recognizing the importance of research in this area, the International Journal on Digital Libraries is organizing a special issue on Very Large Digital Libraries (VLDL). The special issue will focus on high-quality original unpublished research, case studies as well as implementation experiences and survey articles in the area of computational aspects of Digital Libraries that emphasize on techniques that have been or can be applied to the creation, maintenance and usage of large-scale digital libraries."

"The due date for submission of manuscripts is July 1, 2007."

For more information, please contact Min-Yen Kan at <>.

Balancing rights and interests in the digital age

October 25, 2006 - "SURF and JISC today published a model agreement that will help authors make appropriate arrangements with publishers for the publication of a journal article. This "Licence to Publish" is the result of several years of international consultation and aims to establish a balance of rights and interests in the emerging scholarly communications environment."

"The rise of digital channels of communication has meant that the process of publishing research material has been undergoing major changes over the last few years. SURF and JISC – two organisations that promote the innovative use of ICT in higher education in the Netherlands and the UK, respectively – have pressed for some years for carefully thought-out arrangements to be made regarding copyright, with the interests of all parties being maximised. The overarching principle behind their activities in this field is that the results of publicly funded research should be made freely and openly available, and as quickly as possible, to all who want to access them."

"The main features of the Licence to Publish are that:

  • copyright in the published work remains with the author
  • the author grants the publisher a licence to publish the work
  • the licence takes effect as soon as the publisher has indicated that it wishes to publish the work
  • once the article has been published, the author can make it publicly accessible – in the form in which it was published by the publisher - by making it available as part of a digital scientific collection (a 'repository')
  • if the publisher so requests, the start of such public accessibility can be delayed for a maximum of six months"

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

Higher Education and Library Leaders Voice Support for Free Access to Federal Research

October 25, 2006 - "In remarks at a forum on "Improving Access to Publicly Funded Research," leaders of major higher education and library organizations voiced their support for the goals of recent measures to expand public access to research funded by the US Government. The forum was co-sponsored by Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC), and SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)."

"Papers and slides from speakers at the forum are available at"

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

ALA receives $2.6 million Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant for library funding, connectivity studies

October 24, 2006 - "The American Library Association (ALA) today announced it will develop and oversee a multi-year study assessing the extent of Internet access, as well as the impact of funding changes on connectivity and sustainability of computer services in public libraries as part of a $2.6 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation."

"Public Internet access in libraries is now nearly 100 percent, compared to just 21 percent 10 years ago. Wireless access in libraries has doubled in just the last two years. Yet roughly 80 percent of libraries reported flat funding in the past three fiscal years, representing a loss in buying power when coupled with inflation. Seventy percent of libraries reported in 2006 that they cannot afford to upgrade or replace aging workstations...."

"...The new study will integrate the longstanding "Public Libraries and the Internet" study administered by Florida State University's Information Institute and the ALA public library funding study to create a comprehensive assessment of libraries. In years two and three of the project, the study also will also be used to evaluate the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's continuing grantmaking efforts. ALA Office for Research and Statistics Director Denise Davis will oversee the project."

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

WebJunction awarded Gates grant to enhance site

October 20, 2006 - "WebJunction, an online community for library staff to meet to share ideas, solve problems and do online coursework, has been awarded a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to enhance usability of the Web site and help it keep pace with a growing audience and range of content."

"The $2 million grant will fund critical development of WebJunction for one year, which will include a redesign to improve the Web site's organization and navigation so that resources can be more easily found by users, and the development of improved search functions. Other site modifications, such as making the site more accessible to those with disabilities, will be made to accommodate increased traffic to the site and expand opportunities for new audiences."

"The planned site changes are a direct response to user feedback and studies of the site. Introduced in 2003, the WebJunction community has grown rapidly and now includes more than 22,000 registered members, 10,000 unique monthly visitors and a growing number of partner organizations."

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

Copyright 2006 © Corporation for National Research Initiatives

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