Association of College and Research Libraries
Science and Technology Section
Leaders on the Web Trail: Redefining the Scholar's Workstation
July 8, 1996
8:30-10:30 am - Speakers' Presentations
Javits Convention Center-1E 7,8
10:30-12:30 pm - Demonstrations/Poster Sessions
Javits Convention Center-1E, 9
July 7, 1996
In his 1945 article "As We May Think", Vannevar Bush envisioned how his "Memex" would revolutionize scholarly work in the future. Scholars would have all the resources needed for research at their finger tips, on one integrated workstation. Modern technology is now allowing his vision to be realized. Program speakers will describe how librarians are redefining the scholar's workstation, with Internet resources, databases on LANs, WANs, and individual PCs, and a variety of software applications.
- Alvin C. Cage
Director, Stephen F. Austin University Library
- To Boldly Go Where No LAN Has Gone Before: Implementing the Scholar's Workstation in a Library Environment
- Patricia A. Kreitz
- Library Director, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center Library
- Constructing the Scholar's Workstation: the Good, the Bad and the Ugglesome
In his 1945 article, Vannevar Bush particularly challenged physicists to turn their peacetime energies to objectives worthy of their best efforts. He suggested the nobel and, from his perspective realizable, goal of inventing a tool which could extend the powers of the mind and give scholars access to and command over the knowledge of the ages.
With their invention of the World Wide Web, high-energy physicists have created a tool which can provide the ease of use and associative connections that Dr. Bush imagined for his MEMEX. This talk will describe some innovative scholaros workstation applications and discuss some of the lessons librarians have learned through collaborating with scholars to create new research environments and some of the future actions they must take to retain a leadership role in further evolution of the scholar's workstation.
Gail Clement, Science/Information Services Librarian, Florida International University
Several STS members and others will demonstrate scholarly use of novel software on workstations that integrate many functions. Demonstrations will take place in a room adjacent to the room assigned for the program session, immediately following the speakers' presentations and the question/answer period.
Gateway: Mann Library's Electronic Library
Oya Y. Rieger, Public Services Librarian
Greg McClellan, Cataloging Librarian for Networked Information Resources
Albert R. Mann Library, Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14850
The Gateway provides access to nearly 500 information resources and contains different genres of information, including bibliographic, numeric, full-text and spatial databases. It also includes supporting services, such as user guides and tutorials, course materials and electronic reserves.
The Gateway's World Wide Web interface provides intellectual access to the electronic resources by a variety of methods, including lists by title and subject and a searchable keyword index. The Technical Services department has been primarily responsible for developing a metadata catalog for the Gateway. Additionally, the department is responsible for writing CGI (Common Gateway Interface) scripts to interface the database with the World Wide Web. Greg McClellan will discuss these and other aspects of the infrastructure of the Mann Library Gateway.
The system is used very heavily by the Cornell community and user support is provided by the Public Services Division. All the desk staff are trained in helping users with database-specific and web browser/Internet connection related questions. The library provides several levels of user assistance, including phone, email and consultation. Oya Rieger will discuss the user support and training issues in addition to highlighting the efforts to collect staff and user input in modifying and developing the system.
Knowledge Development Through the Use of a World Wide Web Collaboratory
Michael D. Hamlin, Ph.D., Sharon A. Lezzotte, MLS, AHIP, Jane L. Forrest, EdD
Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
Librarians at Thomas Jefferson University, are working with educators and researchers to develop a World Wide Web resource to help synthesize and advance oral health knowledge. The program includes establishment of the DHNet (Dental Hygiene Network), a state-of-the-art electronic knowledge and communications collaboratory that will be available to any researcher or clinician with access to the Internet. The collaboratory will create an electronic infrastructure and knowledgebase which will facilitate the linking, relating and clustering of ideas and information that are critical to forming an organized body of knowledge in a discipline. It will also formalize the linkages among oral hygiene researchers, educators and clinicians for the purpose of advancing knowledge derived from research and clinical practice and promote continued collaboration without regard to geographic location.
Development of the electronic collaboratory includes the following five steps: 1) development and validation of a conceptual framework for structuring oral hygiene knowledge; 2) conversion of that framework into a computerized format referred to as the DHNet knowledgebase; 3) provision of training for oral hygiene researchers, clinicians and educators in communications technology and knowledge management skills; 4) the use of communications technology--the DHNet electronic collaboratory--for the synthesis and refinement of the knowledgebase.
The DHNet and related Web-based resources will provide researchers and clinicians with a virtual laboratory that will enable them to create an ever-expanding body of knowledge about research and clinical observations related to oral health. Although the initial program focuses on the development of collaborative research and knowledge-building in oral health, members of other allied health disciplines are participating in the project to insure that the model can be used as a prototype for knowledge development in other allied health fields such as occupational and physical therapy.
Georgia Tech Electronic Library (GTEL)
Mary Axford & Jana Lonberger
Library & Information Center
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA 30332-0900
The poster session will showcase the Georgia Tech Electronic Library (GTEL), the new WWW-based information system developed by the Georgia Institute of Technology's Library & Information Center. GTEL (http://www.library.gatech.edu) provides student, faculty, and staff access to over 90 databases from Library workstations, campus computer clusters, desk tops, dorm rooms, or homes. One component of GTEL is Galileo, the University System of Georgia's new statewide information system, which incorporates a state university union catalog and dozens of databases from UMI and OCLC's FirstSearch. GTEL also includes: tape-loaded databases; CD-ROM databases; Internet databases and links to other Net resources; an electronic reserves system; the "Ask a Librarian" electronic reference service; and a document ordering and delivery service for faculty. The presentation will utilize screen simulations. workstations, campus computer clusters, desk tops, dorm rooms, or homes.
The Goddard Library Home Page : Bringing the Library to the Scholar's Personal Workstation
Robin M. Dixon, Librarian
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Library Code 252 Building 21
Greenbelt, MD 20771
The GSFC Library Home Page (http://www-library.gsfc.nasa.gov) has a number of unique features tailored for use at the scholar's workstation. Our Sci/Tech Journals: Contents and Abstracts Database features citations and abstracts of over 2500 scientific and technology journals. The database was customized by the Goddard Library using information from the Currents Contents Database provided by the Institute for Scientific Information. A demonstration version of the database is available from the Home Page at http://www-library.gsfc.nasa.gov/CC/CCdemo.html.
The Goddard Library is among a select group of Federal Libraries which provide desktop access to their CD-ROMs, and still fewer who provide access to DOS, UNIX and Macintosh platforms. Databases included are: Computer Select, DataPro-Computer Systems Analyst, DataPro-Communications Analyst, DataPro-Client /Server Analyst, FAR/FIRMR, GeoRef, Index to Scientific & Technical Proceedings, MathSci, Science Citation Index.
Other features of our Home Page include: The Library's ARIN Online Catalog and NASA/RECON. The ARIN Catalog provides navigational access to the books and journal titles owned by the Goddard Library as well as all the other NASA libraries.
GLOBAL - An electronic handbook to the GSFC Library - complete with maps of the library and expert advice on how to research a topic in the GSFC Library.
The Goddard Library Hot List - which has hyperlinks to other sites, libraries and resources within NASA and the world that have information related to GSFC research.
Points of Contact for Circulation, Information, Reference and Journals assistance is available on the Home Page. Users may contact the library by E-mail or telephone for assistance in navigating the library's electronic and paper resources.
NASA List of Acronyms - This WAIS searchable database allows the user to search on keywords to find a NASA acronym or to search for an acronym to find what the acronym means.
The RECON Select Database - A WAIS searchable form of the traditional NASA RECON database, RECON Select is easier to use, but is limited to documents within the public domain. Articles, proceedings papers, and technical reports accessed here, can be requested by Goddard users through the Goddard Library, at no cost to the researcher, provided the research is for Goddard or a Goddard project.
The Goddard Technical Reports Server (GTRS) - This WAIS based database, housed on a server in the Goddard Library, provides access to abstracts and citations of technical reports of Goddard Authors printed in 1994 and 1995. The database is in a prototype phase, but is slated to include not only citations and abstracts but the full text of Goddard documents. Users will be able to search for, retrieve and read or print document from their desktop. This database also features a link to the NASA Technical Reports Server which provides access to NASA technical reports agency-wide.
Telnet access to other databases and sites of interest to the Goddard researcher is provided through the Goddard Library Hot List.
The newest feature of the Goddard Library Home Pages is the ability of users to request full text copies of articles located either on the system or by other means of communication. The library's Article/Proceedings Request Form and the Book/Document Request Form allow Goddard users to electronically send a request for an article, book or document to the library. A form has also been linked to the Sci/Tech Journals database allowing the user to request a copy of the article from the abstract page by calling up a form with the bibliographic data pre-entered from the abstract. All requests are processed and the article physically delivered to the requester's desktop. When an electronic file is requested, the file is transferred via E-mail.
The GSFC Library Home Page insures that Goddard's researchers will have available from their desktop day or night, an easy point of entry into not only Goddard and NASA information but the ability to navigate effortlessly to the vast resources of the Internet.
The Scholar's Workstation Project
University of Stirling
Stirling, FK9 4LA
In May 1994, Information Services at the University of Stirling began the Scholar's Workstation Project - a programme intended to provide a consistent cross-platform user interface for the provision of information access. Fifteen members of staff were selected from a broad range of academic disciplines to take part in the user trials for the project and each user provided with a machine platform of their choice.
Development of the interface began in August 1994 with initial thoughts concentrating on providing a custom built solution with in-house software being developed for each platform. At around this time however, Mosaic and the World Wide Web were beginning to become prominent. It was therefore decided that an implementation of the Scholar's Workstation concept should be designed using as its foundation, a Web based server.
This process is now nearing completion. A diverse set of pages have been put together covering aspects ranging from world-wide access of libraries and networked databases to integration of the local Inter-Library Loan request system and on-line CD-ROM access. A demonstration version of the server has been put on line and is available at the URL:
This shows the majority of the facilities that are available from the Scholar's Workstation server although a number of features only work on local clients which have been specifically configured for them.
The project is now in its write up and dissemination phase. It is intended that the concepts and content of the pages will be distributed to academic sites who wish to make use of them.
Expert Systems: HTML, the WWW, and the Librarian
David E. Stern
For years librarians have studied computer programming in order to develop user-friendly interfaces that help patrons navigate successfully through the wide variety of available library resources. With varying degrees of success, librarians and systems personnel have dedicated enormous amounts of time designing systems that attempt to merge the knowledge of expert librarians with the latest advances in search engines and screen design. Success has been acheived in a number of cases: expert systems that allow users to find library policies and procedures, research methodologies explanations, lists of the best resources for a subject, and transparent links to online databases. In-house training modules have also been developed using these tools and techniques.
But creating these complex systems is often far beyond the programming skills of the average librarian -- whom is often the person with the knowledge necessary to build the best tool.
The development of simple HTML authoring tools and converters, and the easy to understand World Wide Web (WWW) protocol for sending this data over the Internet, has allowed many front line librarians to begin developing their own expert systems. This session will describe the lessons learned in the development of one such system in the Yale University science libraries.
The use of simple tagged HTML (HyperText Markup Language) mark-up conventions significantly shortens the learning curve for developing logically connected screens and files. The use HTML authoring tools, word processors with macros, and converters from word processors and/or ASCII files, makes the creation of screens, files, and relational links quite simple and understandable to all levels of computer users.
In addition to the traditional pathways that most OPACS present (e.g. Book catalog or Journal indexes), the Yale University Science Libraries expert system, see URL "http://www.library.yale.edu/scilib/top.html", provides a different approach. Experience has shown that many users do not know which reference tools (book catalogs, journal indexes, encyclopedias, book review indexes, etc.) to use when they start their library research; therefore, this new `HELP finding the best tools' portion of the public interface begins by asking users for the type of data they require (e.g. definitions, short summaries, state-of-the-art reviews, latest research findings, biographical information, book reviews) and then leads them by subject to the appropriate sources. The final sources can be online connections to local or remote resources, or bibliographies of standalone CD-ROM or paper sources. This `Navigator' subsystem is available through the standard URL above or by direct access at URL "http://www.library.yale.edu/scilib/help/navhelp.html".
Vannevar Bush has been cited hundreds of times in the past, and continues to be cited in the current literature. Recent papers:
Bloom, Floyd E. 1996. An enhanced perspective. Science 271 (Feb. 9): 241
Bieber, M. and T. Isakowitz. 1995. Designing hypermedia applications: introduction. Communications of the ACM 38(9): 26-29
Fox, E.A., et al. 1995. Digital libraries: introduction. Communications of the ACM 39(4): 23-28
Furuta, R. 1995. Hypertext and hypermedia resarch. ACM Computing Surveys 27(1): 133-135.
White, S.H. 1994. 1994. Electronic publishing: Protein Science at the edge of a revolution. Protein Science 3(11): 1899-1900
STS will help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Linda Hall Library (in its Missouri location) and explore the Engineering Societies Information Center on Sunday, July 7, 6:00-8:00pm. Busses provided by Chemical Abstracts will take STS members to and from the reception. One bus will make a round trip between the convention center and the reception site, and a second bus will be available to take STS members to the reception from the STS general discussion group and research forum meeting on Sunday afternoon.
Chemical Abstracts will sponsor a breakfast meeting on Sunday morning of Annual, to provide interested members with information on new products and publishing ventures as CAS. Look for more information from CAS as July approaches. Other publishers and vendors have been equally generous in sponsoring the STS reception. Pledges of support for the STS reception at the 1996 Annual conference have been received from:
American Society of Mechanical Engineers
American Society of Civil Engineers
Cambridge Scientific Abstracts
Chemical Abstracts Service
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Institute of Physics
Institute for Scientific Information
Majors Scientific Books
Yankee Book Peddler