Skip to main content

Keynote paper: The changing landscape for the information professional

Mark Clark, University of Salford

The paper will contrast the slow evolution of the first 'information age' with the information explosion of the second, the 'Internet information age'.

The paper will present a brief resumé of this evolution and show the exponential explosion that is now underway. In particular, it is intended to provoke opinions on the likely implications associated with the changing landscapes for professionals in information service provision. The Internet phenomenon is the largest development in IT since the PC and may be the largest IS development since the published book. It provides a communications and information revolution for the citizen and commerce. The Internet challenges the information industry as convergence occurs across various sectors including communications, computing media, information, etc. Ubiquitous access via new technologies to an information-rich world will inevitably open up opportunities for new paradigms of learning delivery. The roles of the learning provider, academics, the student and support services, must undergo complete metamorphosis. Education is about the growth of the individual and his/her employability. However, it is also about social inclusion and cohesion. The cost of UK education in all its forms is around fifty billion; however, the cost to society through crime, etc., from those excluded from comprehensive education is massive.

There are only two global 'industries', health and education. Education at all levels must expect challenge from new providers who may see education as a natural progression for their market. Universities have competed in many areas but with artificial controls on the competition itself. Collaboration opportunities abound. The difficult issue is moving from a competitive environment to one of collaboration and thence building upon the opportunities arising. This of course begs the question whether we know what we have to build. With regard to content and support for the learner it will be necessary to build teams of content developers incorporating specialist academics, information specialists, and staff skilled in content production techniques including presentation and interaction technologies.

Continued change is the one clear challenge facing all of us. Information networks will impact on every sector of industry and society, but especially education. It is for information professionals to be clear in setting and implementing change agendas to deliver an environment in which they may prosper!

Perspectives on electronic journal delivery: 5 years back - 5 years forward

John Tagler, Elsevier USA

For decades the traditions, models and methodologies that have characterized scientific publishing and its role in the scientific communication chain have remained relatively intact. Suddenly, with rapid technological development and an eagerness in the scientific community to exploit the potential of the digital environment, we are witnessing more radical shifts in the space of a few years than occurred during the entire 20th century. In looking at a span of just ten years, the changes have been and promise to be extraordinary. Enormous progress has been made in the past five years, with technology leading the way but also with librarians and publishers testing the waters and developing new models for the digital library. A look into the next five years offers some difficult challenges but also promises some exciting breakthroughs.

The future development of STM serials: a learned society view

Glyn Jones, Biochemical Society

Underpinning peer review, given the uncertainties posed by electronic publishing and current questions regarding ownership of copyright, makes the provision of support for charitable scientific activities - "the science dividend" - at least as demanding as satisfying shareholders. The Biochemical Society, nevertheless, believes that learned societies can fulfil their publishing role without losing control over style, content and economic model to others.

Recent developments on the copyright scene

Charles Oppenheim, Loughborough University

In this paper, developments in the UK copyright scene of interest to the higher education library community, with an emphasis on electronic copyright, will be discussed. The major topics covered will be: changes to Crown Copyright; HERON and NESLI; JISC/PA work; and a survey of HEI IPR policies. The work of CLA is covered in a separate talk by Ed Barrow.

The CLA's new digitisation licences

Edward Barrow, Copyright Licensing Agency

In response to long-standing user demand, and against the background of developing European legislation which broadly encourages copyright holders to license the digital use of their material, the CLA is introducing new voluntary licences for the digitisation of print publications. The licences are for exact page representations only and are transactional, opt-in, and have publication-specific fees determined by the copyright holder. Both directly-scanned files ('dumb digitisations') and OCR'd files ('smart digitisations') will be authorised. Initially, licences will be offered for higher education and the pharmaceutical industry. To encourage re-use of digitisations, the digitisation and the subsequent use of the digitisation are treated separately. Each sector has its appropriate pricing model (in the case of higher education, two pricing models). Digitisation allows legacy material to be used alongside material originally published in digital form, and CLA's digitisation licences will assist rightsholders and users to complete the transition to the digital environment.

Will the SPARC Initiative succeed?

Robert Welham, Royal Society of Chemistry

Michael Spinella will speak on the development of Science Online, the Internet-based enhanced version of the renowned weekly journal - [Full Text Online]

Developing the European digital library for economics

Thomas Place, Tilburg University

DECOMATE II is a project in the Telematics Applications Programme of the European Commission. The project is situated in the Libraries sector of the Programme and runs from February 1998 to July 2000. Project partners are Tilburg University (the Netherlands), Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain), London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom), European University Institute (Italy) and SilverPlatter Information Ltd. (United Kingdom).

The project aims at creating a pan-European Digital Library for Economics with mutual access to the heterogeneous, distributed and pooled digital resources of the consortium members in the field of economics. Emphasis is on the disclosure of the full text of copyrighted and non-copyrighted material. It will result in a visible example of interconnected library services, integrating various functions to provide a full-scale virtual library service to end-users.

DECOMATE II is based on the results of the successful Decomate project which has resulted in a service that provides end-user access, through individual libraries, to copyright materials distributed by publishers in electronic form. With DECOMATE II, this result is expanded to cover both heterogeneous materials (i.e. copyright and non-copyright materials of different types and formats) and distributed access (i.e. allowing users to access resources in any of the participating libraries through a single, uniform interface). DECOMATE II includes personalised user services (based on tools for document delivery, current awareness services and user profiling) and enhanced techniques for knowledge navigation. Access management and accountability facilities are the other main areas of DECOMATE II.

DECOMATE II is a demonstrator and a test bed for licence agreements with publishers and information providers, and for models of use of digital library services. Extensive user studies should develop new insights on user behaviour, among others by establishing long-lasting contacts with end users throughout the project. Finally, the DECOMATE II software release will be implemented in several European test sites to gain extensive knowledge on best practice installation and to acquire an understanding of the costs and real efforts incurred, with an eye to finding realistic exploitation scenarios after the project's end.

Bibliographic data, metadata: it's all the same, isn't it?

Lorcan Dempsey, UK Office for Library and Information Networking, University of Bath

Libraries, their suppliers and their users now occupy a shared network space. This space is also shared with many other players. Coming together in this way is creating new divisions of labour (in the document supply chain, for example), new forms of user behaviour and expectation, and new service offerings and connections.

This paper will briefly examine these changes with specific reference to the user and the journal literature. It will consider access to the journal literature in a hybrid library environment. It will argue that metadata (for individual items, for right, for people, for collections and services) will be critical to the effective delivery of future services, noting some recent critical developments.

Building an access catalogue

Terry Hanson, University of Portsmouth

An Access Catalogue is conceived as a catalogue of information resources that are directly available (such as databases and full text journals) as distinct from a catalogue that provides metadata only. This paper will look at how an Access Catalogue can be developed and at some of the issues that arise from this.

Electronic journals pricing - still in the melting pot?

Albert Prior, Swets & Zeitlinger

The Internet and World Wide Web provide opportunities for publishers to deliver and price scholarly information in new ways. Pressures on library budgets also contribute to the situation in which libraries are seeking alternatives to the traditional pricing model used for print journal subscriptions. As e-commerce develops it will also increasingly have an impact on how research information may be priced and sold.

A number of pricing models have been used or tested by publishers for the electronic journals launched in recent years, whether for individual library subscriptions, for library consortia or multi-site corporations, etc., and no one model is dominant.

The paper will review the current situation and the trends and developments in an area which has significant implications for publishers, libraries and agents alike. This will be from the viewpoint of a subscription agent handling electronic journals and of the Managing Agent of NESLI (The National Electronic Site Licence Initiative) in negotiating with publishers on behalf of the UK Higher Education Community.

A day in the life of ...

Adrian Figgess, Granada Media

No abstract provided.

Concurrent session 1

E-journals in Germany: efforts, collections and organization

Diann Rusch-Feja, Max-Planck-Institute for Human Development, Germany

After observing what could be achieved through a national site licence, as was accomplished in a test phase in Great Britain, university and research libraries in other European countries have joined together in regional and 'same-type' library consortia to negotiate conditions for the acquisition of electronic journals. Although the major aims are to defray costs and to use the benefits of multiple, overlapping interests to save on subscriptions in the long run, difficulties in both the subscription conditions (prohibiting cancellation, pricing based on subscription levels in previous years) and in the usage conditions have slowed the transition. On the other hand, the benefits of cross access and rapidly developing, sophisticated retrieval systems which harmonize individual publishers' offerings and enable cross access searching, etc., are becoming more attractive. Nevertheless, the problems of licensing for access as opposed to subscription prices for complete ownership of the data (even after a subscription ceases), have only been solved in isolated cases. The merits and disadvantages of regional consortia as opposed to 'same-type' library consortia will be discussed. Aspects of the negotiation procedures will be considered from the viewpoints of the librarians, researchers and students.

The UK's National Electronic Site Licence Initiative: progress and futures

Julia Chruszcz, University of Manchester

NESLI is the National Electronic Site Licence Initiative developed by the Joint Information Systems Committee of the UK Higher Education Funding Councils, as part of its Distributed National Electronic Resource. The principle aim of NESLI can perhaps be summarised as follows: "to promote the widespread exploitation and use of electronic journals in UK Higher Education". The Funding Councils have realised that although there are strong financial pressures on the Higher Education institutions to reduce dependence on print subscriptions, there would not be a corresponding increase in electronic use unless this kind of initiative was established to give the process some impetus. The hope and expectation of NESLI is that the use of electronic journals can become easier and more widespread than print ever was, and thereby improve the quality of teaching and research in UK Higher Education.

The NESLI Managing Agent (a consortium of Swets & Zeitlinger and the University of Manchester) was appointed to start work on 1st May 1998 after a competitive tendering exercise. The journal delivery commenced as scheduled on 1st January 1999.

The hope and expectation is that NESLI can progress the more rapid transformation from a print-based to an electronic scholarly communication system, and thereby improve the quality of teaching and research in UK Higher Education.

Concurrent session 2

Information services at Jones Lang LaSalle: a case study

Gillian Westall, Jones Lang LaSalle

This presentation outlines the development of information resources at Jones Lang LaSalle, one of the largest firms of real estate advisers in the world. It reviews the objectives and work of the London Information Centre in its current format, covering the nature and scope of the service and the requirements of the internal clients. It offers a consideration of other departmental issues such as marketing and end-user training, as well as various staff and budgeting responsibilities. The paper emphasises the 'short deadline/information snapshots' aspect of a commercial information service, unlike the more 'academic' environments where 'comprehensive and exhaustive' may be the more usual adjectives applied. It also examines the need for corporate information services to be closely aligned with the business objectives of the parent organisation and demonstrates how this is achieved at Jones Lang LaSalle. As the company has recently merged (in March 1999, from a UK 'professional partnership' with a 200-year history and a North American 30-year old 'corporate'), the paper also considers how change in the internal environment and culture impacts on the information service - both positively and negatively!

Electronic serials in BT: a case study

David Alsmeyer, BT Laboratories

This paper will give an overview of BT's Digital Library project, concentrating on electronic serials. In the corporate climate in which the BT Library operates, it is imperative that the Library can deliver information to the user's desktop. This paper will describe progress so far, with 35-40% of relevant journal and conference literature available online, and discuss future plans.

Concurrent session 3

The legal deposit of non-print publications: the 1998 Working Group on Legal Deposit

Geoff Smith, British Library, Reader Services & Collection Development

The paper examines the extension of legal deposit to non-print materials. At the end of 1997 the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Chris Smith, set up a working party under the chairmanship of Sir Anthony Kenny to advise on how an effective national archive of non-print material might be achieved. The working party reported in July 1998. The paper outlines the conclusions and recommendations of the working party, and the subsequent response of the Secretary of State to its report. It describes work under way between libraries and publishers to prepare a code of practice for the voluntary deposit of electronic publications as an interim measure before expected eventual legislation.

Preservation and long-term access to digital resources in libraries: the Cedars project

Kelly Russell, Consortium of University Research Libraries (CURL)

Recent years have seen a massive increase in the range and volume of digital information resources and an increasing reliance on these materials for research and scholarship. However, many countries in Europe and abroad have as yet no formal mechanism for the long-term preservation of this material. The urgency of this situation, particularly for digital material which exists only as a digital resource, is still under-estimated. There is a pressing need for a strategy for digital preservation which addresses both the urgency of rapidly obsolete technologies, the current economic situation as well as the complex intellectual property rights issues which arise from work in this area. The Cedars Project in the UK provides an invaluable opportunity for research libraries and other stakeholders to explore digital archiving in some depth. The presentation will review the complex issues associated with archiving digital materials as well as the project's practical work in the first year.

The Cedars Project is a Higher Education initiative funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee. It officially began on 1st April 1998. The funding was awarded to the Consortium of University Research Libraries (CURL) and the work is carried out on behalf of CURL by three CURL institutions, Leeds, Oxford and Cambridge.

Cedars stands for CURL Exemplars in Digital Archives and the main objective of the project is to address strategic, methodological and practical issues and provide guidance in best practice for digital preservation. It will do this by work on two levels through practical demonstrator projects which will provide concrete practical experience in preserving digital resources and through strategic working groups based on broad concepts or concerns which will articulate preferences and make recommendations of benefit to the wider community. The main deliverables of the project will be recommendations and guidelines as well as practical, robust and scaleable models for establishing distributed digital archives. It is expected that the outcomes of Cedars will influence legislation for legal deposit of electronic materials and feed directly into the emerging national strategy for digital archives currently being developed through the National Preservation Office of the British Library.

Concurrent session 4

Distinguished by subject? Digital information and the divergence of research communities

David Pullinger

No abstract available.

Content aggregating, intermediating and beyond

Stephanie Manning, MD Consult, USA

Aggregation of large amounts of 'practical' content and simplification of access are becoming baseline expectations for any product or service. Value is dependent on volume, 'intermediation', brand and efficiency. Intermediation means enhancing content through association and interoperation with everything else the product or service offers. Integrated content 'add-ons' to the core offering will be one strategy to grow business.