D-Lib Magazine
November 1998

ISSN 1082-9873

From the Publisher

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Practicing What We Preach

Digital libraries research is a new discipline that draws together people from many backgrounds. A challenge that we all face is how to communicate with our colleagues. Our discipline should be a leader in using electronic publishing and digital libraries to promulgate our research and to communicate with each other. But how is this best achieved?

This question is particularly perplexing, since all of academic publishing is going through a period of rapid change. Traditional journals are providing parallel versions in print or available on-line; researchers are first reporting their results on the Web, strengthening the long-standing tradition of informal distribution of scientific information; new forms of publication are emerging -- D-Lib Magazine is an example -- with attributes of conventional publications, but based on Web technology. As members of an inter-disciplinary field, researchers in digital libraries do not know where to publish their results so that they will be available to the broadest community.

The first article in this issue of D-Lib Magazine describes a project, the Computing Research Repository (CoRR), that can help to bridge this gap. This initiative, led by Joe Halpern of Cornell University, provides an organized framework for authors to disseminate their research papers and reports about computing; some may be published later as journal articles or conference papers, but certainly not all will be. Joe is a colleague of mine on the ACM Publications Board, and the ACM is an enthusiastic supporter of CoRR. The strong team of moderators that has been assembled provides an indicator that many leading computer scientists welcome this initiative. The collections in CoRR are classified by subject areas and digital libraries is one. CoRR is housed at the eprint archives at Los Alamos National Laboratory, which provides a search service and email notification when papers are posted. In addition, CoRR is part of the NCSTRL library (to which D-Lib Magazine also belongs).

Digital libraries is a very broad field of which computer science is only part, but this provides an opportunity for research results to be distributed quickly and maintained for the long term. There are no costs to either authors or readers. By making our research promptly available, through widely accessible channels, we can all help to advance the field.

William Y. Arms
Publisher, D-Lib Magazine
Chair, ACM Publications Board

Copyright (c) 1998 Corporation for National Research Initiatives

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