Volume 1 Number 2 October 2000
Signs of Spring
During these past summer months the DLF has consolidated progress in at least three key areas.
- Work on the Open Archives initiative, on the Academic Image Co-operative, and on the preservation of electronic scholarly journals demonstrates capacity for a small but influential membership organization to act as a catalyst in the development of innovative new information services and the organizations that are required to develop and deliver them. Our work on the AIC and on the OAi are reported at length in this issue. With the OAi, the DLF and the Coalition for Networked Information are actively seeking to encourage the development of Internet portal services that use a metadata harvesting technique as a means of integrating access to online information managed by libraries, museums, archives, publishers and other bodies. With the AIC, the DLF is working on new collection development and business models that may help to shape deep, online, scholarly information resources.
- Improved communications among DLF members, and between the DLF and other bodies respectively encourages a culture of collaboration and consolidates the organization's place in national (even international) arenas. Within the DLF, particular achievements include the launch of two web-searchable databases (one listing members' public domain, online digital collections; the other their digital library documents), a considerably expanded DLF Forum, and the growing number of initiatives that in turn supply opportunities for greater participation in our various collaborative endeavors. The richness of our activity and the extent of our involvement with outside agencies are available in the growing list of individuals and organizations involved in current DLF initiatives.
- There is also evidence of the organization's maturity in the development recently of a process whereby it can leverage its members' collective influence by identifying, endorsing, and promoting adoption of those technical and other practices that enable digital libraries cost effectively to develop, preserve, and encourage scholarly and pedagogical use of high-quality, interchangeable electronic information. Recent agreement by the DLF Steering Committee to urge the adoption of open linking on publishers but also on other communities is something of a watershed development and is reported at length in this issue. So is the Steering Committee's decision to review (with a view to endorsing and promoting) three best practice recommendations that have derived from DLF-sponsored work on licensing commercial electronic resources, on the use of TEI in libraries, and on visual imaging practices.
These past few months have been busier still for DLF members as evident in their reports on recent digital library activities. This issue includes reports from Columbia, North Carolina State, Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
University of Pennsylvania,
University of Tennessee,
University of Texas at Austin,
University of Virginia,
Yale University. It also includes a feature reflecting on a study recently launched by the DLF into the effectiveness of methods used by digital libraries to assess the use and usability of their online collections and services.
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