CFFC Bibliography:

Journal Articles on the Future of the Online Catalog

July 1997 - June 1998

This bibliography consists of reviews submitted by Catalog Form and Function Committee Members and Interns as of June 15, 1998. The time period of articles reviewed covers July 1997 to June 1998. Due to the proliferation of readily available abstracts from many literature index services, many of the annotations accompanying the citations are not the original work of committee members and interns. Committee members and interns are responsible for indicating if the article summary is to be attributed to an author other than themselves. If no indication is made as to the source of an article summary, the initials of the committee member or intern submitting the article citation and its annotation follows the annotation.

Banerjee, Kyle. "Describing Remote Electronic Documents in the Online Catalog: Current Issues." Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 25, no. 1: 5-20.
This article discusses the ways in which the relationship between the library catalog and electronic resources differs from the relationship between the library catalog and physical materials. Cataloging rules, originally intended to help users of manual card catalogs find physical works on library shelves, are not necessarily well-suited to treat electronic resources (including, but not limited to, online journals and books, maps graphic material, and components of multimedia works). Special cataloging issues associated with electronic works include problems of describing remote electronic resources in an online catalog, i.e., problems of creating "fixed records" for dynamic, unstable resources with "volatile" identifying characteristics. Such resources can be accessed by users directly without reliance on catalog-record representations of library holdings. The author concludes that, while some descriptive information can help a user identify a needed electronic resource, it is impractical for catalog records to provide more than minimal description for remote electronic resources. He suggests that new cataloging techniques designed to stabilize catalog records should, to some extent, compensate for the decrease in traditional descriptive information.

The Intercat Project was a 1994-96 nationwide experiment intended to create a sample database of MARC-format records containing description, location, and access information for Internet resources, as well as to determine the technical feasibility of providing automated access to electronic files. Study of the Intercat database revealed issues that must be resolved before long-term access to electronic documents can be assured. One success of the project was identification of a method to reduce problems associated with the volatility of electronic locations, a form of location authority control called a Persistent URL (PURL).

Although traditional cataloging practice can be helpful, it will be necessary to devise new technical solutions to provide adequate access to dynamic electronic resources which are structurally and functionally different from their print counterparts. Promising developments include metadata, programs which perform textual analysis, mark-up languages such as SGML, and tools such as the Dublin Core Meta Tag Builder. -L.W.

Beall, Jeffrey. "Cataloging World Wide Web Sites Consisting Mainly of Links." Journal of Internet Cataloging 1, no.1 (1997): 83-92.

World Wide Web sites consisting mainly of links to other Internet resources have begun to proliferate. These sites are valuable to library users and researchers because they bring together in a single Web site links to a comprehensive array of information resources. Because libraries may elect to include bibliographic records for these sites in their online catalogs, catalogers should be aware of some of the main aspects of cataloging this new type of resource. Catalogers should be aware of the main types and different characteristics of these sties, how to describe them in a bibliographic record, and how to assign appropriate subject headings and subdivisions for them. -Abstract from Journal of Internet Cataloging.
Beheshti, Jamshid. "The Evolving OPAC." Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 24, no.1 / 2 (1997): 163-185.
This article considers the impact on OPACs of recent computer and communication technology advances, including the client/server model, the Internet, and protocols and standards such as Z39.50. After a brief overview of first- and second-generation OPACs, the author notes that users still encounter problems despite the many improvements introduced since the late 1970s and early 1980s. That is, users continue to be "unable to reduce or increase the number of hits, understand cataloging rules, cope with spelling and typographical errors, use system-preferred forms for entering names, or utilize Boolean logic."

Beheshti goes on to identify factors that have contributed to a lack of progress in designing effective OPACs: the "heterogeneous" nature of the OPAC user population, which ranges from novices to experts; considerable variations in systems' search engines, interfaces, response times, and database size and content; the need for OPACs to accommodate a wide range of subject fields, providing effective searching mechanisms for all of them; and the limited content and paucity of access points of cataloging records residing in OPACs. Current efforts to develop a new generation of OPACs that are "ultimately intuitive and require a minimum of [user] instruction" can capitalize on the past two decades' advances in computer technology and distributed networking.

The article's extensive and detailed review of computer technology and distributed networking breakthroughs covers the following: development of the client/server model for distributed information networks; development of the Open Systems Interconnection Reference Model (OSI) to facilitate interoperability in linking different systems; formulation of the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) to facilitate interoperability within the Internet; the exponential grow of the Internet and development of Intranets; and development of the ANSI/NISO Z39.50 standards for managing bibliographic information.

Benefiting from the advances in the above list, many libraries can now provide access to their OPACs through Web Catalog interfaces, or "webbed" interfaces. Such applications are available through commercial software, Center for Networked Information Discovery and Retrieval (CNIDR) software, Stanford University's Z39.50-Web software, and propriety software, all of which are briefly described in the article.

Beheshti reports that, although the new "webbed" OPAC interfaces appear much superior to their predecessors, they are not entirely satisfactory. Christine Borgman has stated that the improvements which have been made "are in surface features rather than in core functionality;" and Charles Hildreth contends that OPAC users still need help in understanding the search process. Borgman notes that the new OPACs do not fully accommodate users' needs for "three layers of knowledge," namely: "conceptual knowledge" enabling the formulation of a query; "semantic knowledge" as to how and when to utilize various search options; and "syntactic knowledge" enabling actual execution of a query.

Beheshti goes on to discuss current and future strategies for coping with factors hampering new-generation OPAC development. Much benefit can be derived from augmentation of the content of MARC records -- which now, for example, include Tag 856 - Electronic Location and Access, the field containing an item's Uniform Resource Locator (URL) and linking the catalog record to some type of digital unit, such as a full-text document. (The author concedes that the instability of URLs is a problem, but notes that it may be resolved by the development of the Uniform Resources Names (URNs) standard.) In next-generation OPACs it will be possible to capitalize on enhanced search engines (which may ultimately incorporate mechanisms for helping users to formulate effective search queries), as well as on new features such as relevance-ranked output and advanced query processing ("automatic word conflation or truncation in conjunction with automatic spell checking, and probabilistic term analysis which utilizes weighting index terms").

It is often suggested that OPACs could be improved by incorporating knowledge of end users' searching behavior into retrieval engines and interfaces. However, as Beheshti reports, there are still more questions than answers with respect to user behavior (e.g. "how does the user judge relevance?"). Concluding with a discussion of alternative models, Beheshti mentions the possibility of employing virtual reality (VR) in information storage and retrieval. The author cites an effort to simulate online a type of search with which library patrons are very familiar, i.e., browsing library book shelves. By "creating a virtual physical layout on the screen," it might be possible to help searchers think about navigating in an information retrieval system "in the same manner in which they move among resources in the actual library." -L.W.
Breeding, Marshall. "Library Software, A Guide to the Current Commercial Products: 1997 Update." Library Software Review 16, no. 4 (Dec. 1997): 276.
This is an indispensable listing of current information about library automation software systems. Includes company names, addresses and other contact points as available (phone, fax, e-mail, web).
Callery, Anne and Deb Tracy-Proulx. "Yahoo! Cataloging the Web." Journal of Internet Cataloging 1, no.1 (1997): 57-64.
The Internet has the potential to be the ultimate information resource, but it needs organization to reach this potential. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how Yahoo! approaches the enormous task of cataloging the Internet, and how its approach differs from traditional library methods of information organization, as well as how Yahoo! is different from most web search engines. This discussion demonstrates Yahoo!'s entire cataloging process. -Abstract from Journal of Internet Cataloging.
Clemson, Patrice A. "An Inside Approach to Networked Document Cataloging." Journal of Internet Cataloging , 1, no.2 (1997): 57-64.
Information professions identified the need for a set of standard metadata almost as soon as the World Wide Web became a reality. Several initiatives have already identified the types of bibliographic information that would be necessary to describe and locate an electronic publication. The descriptors identified in the OCLC/NCSA Dublin Core are combined with those assembled by the Coalition of Networked Information and the Internet Engineering Task Force to produce a list of electronic citation elements. This article advocates embedding these citation elements within electronic documents through the use of HTML tags and other markup techniques. There is also a call to cataloging librarians to contribute their expertise in information resources management to documents being prepared for the World Wide Web in order to influence the quality of electronic publication from the inside. -Abstract from Journal of Internet Cataloging.
Combs, Joseph Jr. "VIZION with Z39.50, A Professional Research Tool from SIRSI." Library Software Review 16, no. 4 (Dec. 1997): 204-14.
VIZION is a Windows environment internet research tool that allows the user to capture, organize and subsequently access remote client software via locally stored icons. The new version of VIZION incorporates the BIB-1 use attributes of Z39.50, Version 2. Searched results can be saved in either "text" or "raw" MARC formats. Reviewed favorably with recommendations for improvements. The system is said to rewrite the screen too often and offers somewhat limited customization features. This is an expanded and revised version of a review that previously appeared in Library Software Review 16, no. 2. Includes the standard caution that not all servers respond equally well to the client software. -W.C.
Combs, Joseph Jr. "Znavigator, A Z39.50 Search and Retrieval Client for Windows from Enware." Library Software Review 16, no. 4 (Dec. 1997): 246-60.
Znavigator conforms to nearly all the requirements of Z39.50, Version 3 (1995), and incorporates the BIB-1 attribute set and three record structures: SUTRS, MARC and GRS-! (described as "an emerging standard for managing `Metadata' records"). Reviewer found Znavigator to be an excellent, easily customizable interface. Using "Query Builder," the user can modify searches and build folders. As in other client software reviews, the author cautions that not all servers respond equally well. -W.C.
Cromwell-Kessler, Willy. "Dublin Core Metadata in the RLG Information Landscape." D-Lib Magazine (Dec. 1997)
Describes RLG meetings, reports, plans for extending use of Dublin Core. -E.I.
Ercegovac, Zorana. "Minimal Level Cataloging: What Does It Mean for Maps in the Contexts of Card Catalogs, Online Catalogs, and Digital Libraries?" Journal of the American Society for Information Science 49, no.8 (1998): 706-19.
In this article, the author examines some of the proposals which have dealt with the problems in cataloging in two different technological contexts: printed-card catalogs and online catalogs. Some of the measures which attempted to deal with the "crisis in cataloging" at the Library of Congress in the 1940s are examined. The author then addresses some of the current problems in cataloging in the era of online public access catalogs (OPACs), in particular, the extent to which minimal-level cataloging, as defined by the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules and implemented in the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) database works for maps. The discussion is organized around two main groups of access points: controlled vocabulary data elements, including name data elements, and free-text data elements. The author also discusses prospects that the next generation of online catalogs using the Z39.50 protocol and SGML format might offer to minimal-level cataloging for maps. - Abstract from the Journal of the American Society for Information Science.
Erickson, Janet C. "Options for Presentation of Multilingual Text: Use of the Unicode Standard." Library Hi Tech 15, no. 3-4 (1997): 172-88.
Explains Unicode and predicts that its use will increase as use of the Internet creates greater awareness of the problems associated with multiple character set standards and greater audience for multilingual text.
French, James C., and Donald E. Brown, and Nam-Ho Kim. "A Classification Approach to Boolean Query Reformulation." Journal of the American Society for Information Science 48, no. 8 (1998): 694-706.
One of the difficulties in using current Boolean-based information retrieval systems is that it is harder for a user, especially a novice, to formulate an effective Boolean query. Query reformulation can be even more difficult and complex than formulation since users often have difficulty incorporating the new information gained from the previous search into the next query. In this article, query reformulation is viewed as a classification problem, that is, classifying documents as either relevant or nonrelevant. A new reformulation algorithm is proposed which builds a tree-structured classifier, called a query tree, at each reformulation from a set of feedback documents retrieved from the previous search. The query tree can easily be transformed into a Boolean query. The query is compared to two reformulation algorithms on benchmark test sets (CACM, CISI, and Medlars). In most experiments, the query tree showed significant improvements in precision over the two algorithms compared in this study. We attribute this improved performance to the ability of the query tree algorithm to select good search terms and to represent the relationships among search terms in a tree structure. - Abstract from the Journal of the American Society for Information Science.
Glassel, Aimee D., and Amy Tracy Wells. "Scout Report Signpost: Design and Development for Access to Cataloged Internet Resources." Journal of Internet Cataloging 1, no. 3 (1998): 15-45.
The Scout Report Signpost ( serves as a proof-of-concept demonstration that Internet resources can be cataloged, classified, and arranged using existing taxonomies such as the Library of Congress Classification scheme and Library of Congress Subject Headings in concert with the emerging metadata standard known as the Dublin Core. The techniques used to accomplish this, as well as difficulties inherent in such an effort, are discussed. A theoretical framework for cataloging is also detailed. -Abstract from the Journal of Internet Cataloging.
Grout, Catherine, and Tony Gill. "Visual Arts, Museums & Cultural Heritage Metadata Draft Workshop Report." Visual Arts Data Service & Arts and Humanities Data Services (
AHDS and its subset VADS are UK-based organizations exploring, and thankfully documenting, issues involved in creating, managing, and delivering arts and humanities data in electronic environments. This report is the result of a workshop to "..examine the descriptive information needed to enable the discovery of visual arts, museums and cultural heritage resources on the Internet, particularly in the form of digital images." In particular they wanted to find out if the Dublin Core had any value as a content discovery tool for such data, and if so, in what forms and what applications. This report is very detailed; covering a variety of areas, and reporting on sub-committee break-out groups. - Quoted from Current Cites, 8, no. 11 (Nov. 1997)
Hildreth, Charles R. "The Use and Understanding of Keyword Searching in a University Online Catalog." Information Technology and Libraries 16, no. 2 (June 1997): 52-62.
If you're a reference librarian Hildreth's research findings will not surprise you. After statistically analyzing searches performed in a university library catalog, Hildreth finds that users "search more often by keyword than any other type of search, their keyword searches fail more often than not, and a majority of these users do not understand how the system processes their keyword searches." He suggests two possible solutions to these problems: 1) educate the user, or 2) improve the design of our catalog systems. As the second is more practical and attainable, especially given the fact that increasingly users of our catalogs do not enter our buildings, Hildreth asserts that "it is time to put end-user Boolean retrieval systems...behind us." He points to probabilistic retrieval theory and hyper textual systems as providing sources for improvements. - Quoted from Current Cites 8, no. 9 (Sept. 1997)
Hirons, Jean L. "One Record or Two? The Online Discussion and the CONSER Interim Approach." Journal of Internet Cataloging 1, no. 2 (1997): 3-14.
The proliferation of online versions of printed publications during the spring of 1996 led a number of catalogers to question the necessity for creating separate catalog records. Many catalogers, frustrated with the lack of a multiple version solution, favored finding a way to use the existing print records to notify patrons of the online version. CONSER catalogers, while recognizing their commitment to the national database, were equally interested in finding alternatives, and others expressed an interest in knowing what CONSER would do. In order to gather feedback for policy-setting, Hirons posted inquiries to various online discussion lists and a thoughtful and lively debate ensued. Hirons discusses the issues leading up to the discussion, factors of importance for CONSER, the interim guidelines that have been developed, and possible next steps. --Abstract from the Journal of Internet Cataloging.
Iivonen, Mirja and Diane H. Sonnenwald. "From Translation to Navigation of Different Discourses: A Model of Search Term Selection During the Pre-Online Stage of the Search Process." Journal of the American Society for Information Science 49, no. 4 (1998): 312-26.
The authors propose a model of the search term selection process based on their empirical study of professional searchers during the pre-online stage of the search process. The model characterizes the selection of search terms as the navigation of different discourses. Discourse refers to the ways of talking and thinking about a certain topic; there often exists multiple, diverse discourses on the same topic. When selecting search terms, searchers appear to navigate a variety of discourses, i.e., they view the topic of a client's search request from the perspective of multiple discourse communities, and evaluate and synthesize differences and similarities among those discourses when selecting search terms. Six discourses emerged as sources of search terms in this study: controlled vocabularies, documents and the domain, the practice of indexing, clients' search requests, databases, and the searchers' own search experiences. Data further suggest that searchers navigate these discourses dynamically and have preferences for certain discourses. Conceptualizing the selection of search terms as a meeting place of different discourses provides new insights into the complex nature of the search term selection process. It emphasizes the multiplicity and complexity of sources of search terms, the dynamic nature of the search term selection process, and the complex analysis and synthesis of differences and similarities among sources of search terms. It suggests that searchers may need to understand fundamental aspects of multiple discourses in order to select search terms. - Abstract from the Journal of the American Society for Information Science.
Jeng, Ling Hwey. "Knowledge, Technology, and Research in Cataloging." Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 24, no. 1 / 2 (1997): 113-27.
This article concerned with the past and future of cataloging considers the gap between practice and research that has developed, in part, due to rapid changes in technology since the 1960's. The author examines the history of technology in cataloging with respect to "products," "processes," and "objects" of cataloging; explores technology's relationship to cataloging knowledge and research; reviews the impact of technology on cataloging theories; and recommends future initiatives for both researchers and practitioners.

Jeng notes that topics typically of interest to cataloging practitioners and researchers include presentation of cataloging products (i.e., different physical formats of catalogs) and bibliographic record formats. The author then identifies potential issues for future study, among them: standardization of presently non-standardized display formats (which are contrasted with exchange formats, for which rigid standards have been developed); reconsideration of cataloging processes (e.g., questioning the "taken for granted" sequence of descriptive cataloging before subject analysis); and new types of information "objects" requiring cataloging and the "irregular" bibliographic data associated with them.

The article's historical review section alludes to Cutter's objectives of a library catalog ("known item search," "category search," and "choice of items"), as well as to the authority control function, which received new emphasis with the introduction of online catalogs. In general, the author contends that theories relating to "products," "processes," and "objects" of cataloging were firmly established in the late nineteenth century, and that cataloging practice has changed relatively little in the past 150 years, with computer technology making less of an impact than is commonly thought. A "chronology of the changes in cataloging theories and philosophies brought about by technology" begins in 1853 with the contributions of Charles Jewett. It ends in 1990 with the parallel development of (1) online public access availability through the Internet and (2) proliferation of information "objects" created and maintained directly on the Internet. In alluding to the 1990 developments, the author notes that, "traditional cataloging theories, such as those concerning authorship and work, no longer neatly apply;" and that "the need for new theories of electronic authorship and the concept of work" becomes apparent as libraries attempt to catalog information systems residing on the Internet.

Having asserted that the conventional view of cataloging "products," "processes," and "objects" is no longer viable, the author goes on to cite Christine Borgman's assessment of current online catalogs, namely that "online catalogs continue to be difficult to use because the design does not incorporate understanding of searching behavior." On the basis of these conclusions, Jeng proposes a number of issues for the future consideration of cataloging practitioners and researchers. First and foremost, catalogers need to consider whether they are too bound to tradition.

Among the cataloging tenets that could be questioned is the concept of descriptive treatment based on format. The author concedes that the sheer number of exiting MARC records in networked utilities' databases could be an obstacle to departures from prevailing cataloging description and record formats. But then Jeng notes that, because catalogers have tended to focus on implementation and interpretation of cataloging rules and on striving for standardization, they have spent relatively little time on system and interface design, subjects given scant attention in core cataloging journals. Citing a lack of empirical studies of fundamental theories in cataloging, Jeng suggests, for example, that Cutter's objectives of a library catalog and Lubetzky's concepts of work and authorship should not continue to go "unchallenged." Jeng also agrees with the position that more research on the psychological and cognitive aspects of searching behavior is sorely needed.

The following quotation summarizes Ling Hwey Jeng's bottom-line recommendation to librarianship's cataloging community: "Catalogers are too busy maintaining what they already have had from the past to take full advantage of what technology can bring now and in the future. -- What catalogers need in the future is to go beyond self-defense and to accept a certain level of risk." -L.W.
Jizba, Laurel. "Reflections on Summarizing and Abstracting: Implications for Internet Web Documents, and Standardized Library Cataloging Databases." Journal of Internet Cataloging 1, no. 2 (1997): 15-39.
Abstracts or summary notes and automated summarization techniques would by highly useful if routinely applied to cataloging or metadata for Internet documents and documents in other databases. Information seekers need external summary information to assess content and value of retrieved documents. Traditional models for writers, in library audiovisual cataloging, journal databases and archival work are examined, along with innovative new model databases featuring robust cataloging summaries. Recent developments in automated techniques, computational research, and machine summarization of digital images are noted. Recommendations are made for future designers of cataloging and metadata standards. - Abstract from the Journal of Internet Cataloging.
Johnson, Judy L. "Flexible Staffing Through Use of Telecommuting." Technical Services Quarterly 15, no. 3 (1998): 82-3.
Report on an ALCTS Creative Ideas in Technical Services Discussion Group meeting in 1997 on pros and cons of telecommuting. -E.I.
Jones, Rebecca J. "New Technologies Demand New Roles: Resistance is Futile," Computers in Libraries 17 (July/Aug. 1997): 32, 34, 36, 38.
Discusses librarians as organizers of an integrated information environment, architects of an internal web. Covers reasons to form coalitions with other intellectual collections, such as museums, geographic regions; cooperating with archivists. Touches on importance of utilizing technology for weighing information, "preference agents". -E.I.
Kappler, Andrea C. "Dewey for Windows Evaluation." Library Software Review 16, no. 4 (Dec. 1997): 215-29.
This cataloging tool is described as "the first classification scheme to be made available with the Windows interface." The four "Views" (Browse, Search, Scan and Summary) which can be used to build DDC numbers are discussed in detail. The article includes an abundance of difficult to read illustrations of what the screens look like. Once DDC numbers are built, they can be conveniently cut and pasted into bibliographic records. Selected LC subject headings are provided, as well as a powerful search engine. The reviewer reports increased cataloging speed and efficiency, but indicated that the cost might be somewhat high for libraries which did not previously purchase a copy of Electronic Dewey. -W.C.
Kilpatrick, Thomas L. "In the Literature." Library Software Review 16, no. 4 (Dec. 1997): 235-46.
Kilpatrick cautions that, despite the preponderance of computerization in thinking about what libraries will become in the future, the library remains "a building and books, and journals, and people, and computers, and displays, and quiet areas, and microtext, and teaching media - all working in tandem to provide the information services that its constituency requires. No one element can be emphasized over the others and still provide the variety and quality of service that...patrons need and deserve." Reviews of note include:

Long, Chris Evin. "The Internet's Value to Catalogers: The Results of a Survey." Cataloging and Classification Quarterly 23, no. 3/4: 65-74.

Lunnin, Lois F., and George D'Elia, eds. "Perspectives n...Implementation and Evaluation of an Integrated Information Center in an Academic Environment." Journal of the American Society for Information Science 48, no. 5: 430- 75.

Will, Leonard, and Sheena Will, "Dewey for Windows," The Electronic Library 15, no.3: 192-5.

Kirriemuir, John, et al. "Cross-searching Subject Gateways." D-Lib Magazine (Jan. 1998).
On development and structuring of subject gateways, describing and comparing various types currently available. (Available at -E.I.
Mace, Scott, "Weaving a Better Web." BYTE 23, no. 3 (March 1998): 58-68 (
HTML 4.0 has barely been released, but to some of us it is dead on delivery. We're already looking past it to XML, the eXtensible Markup Language, which promises to add much more power, flexibility, and reliability to the Web. This article serves as a great introduction to XML and, to a lesser degree, Dynamic HTML (DHTML). The online version of the article links you through to some of the essential documents on XML. If you are interested in the future of the Web, listen up. As the authors of this article put it: "Although it will require developers and users to retool, the migration to XML must begin. The future of the Web depends on it." - RT Abstract from Current Cites 9, no.2 (Feb. 1998)
Matthews, Joseph R. "Time for New OPAC Initiatives: An Overview of Landmarks in the Literature and Introduction to WordFocus." Library Hi Tech 15, no.1-2 (1997): 111-22.
The article reviews the progress made in OPACs and suggests ways in which they can be improved. Among the suggestions are relevancy ranking of search results, improving user interfaces, and adding intermediary databases to assist users in selecting appropriate search terms. Examples of the latter are the Superthesaurus and WordFocus, a product developed by Pathfinder Information, Inc. These products help users refine their searches before the bibliographic database is queried.
McDonough, Jerome P. "SGML and the USMARXC Standard : Applying Markup to Bibliographic Data." Technical Services Quarterly 15, no. 3 (1998): 21-33.
Examines "the problems and potential of applying SGML to the USMARC record standard, with a particular emphasis on issues of field order and repeatability, character set encoding, and obsolete fields." -Abstract TSQ.
McKiernan, Gerry. "The New/Old World Wide Web Order: The Application of `Neo- Conventional' Functionality to Facilitate Access and Use of a WWW Database of Science and Technology Internet Resources." Journal of Internet Cataloging 1, no.1 (1997): 47-55.
While there are numerous information sources that are available on the World Wide Web (WWW), the identification of significant Net resources is often not as efficient nor as effective as many desire. In 1995, a demonstration prototype service, CyberStacks(sm) (, was formally established at Iowa State University with the intent of enhancing access and use of selected Internet resources in science, technology and related areas through the application of the Library of Congress classification system as an organizational framework. As the prototype was refined, other methods for identifying and selecting relevant resources were subsequently incorporated within its scheme. This paper reviews the creation of the CyberStacks(sm) prototype, describes the development and potential usefulness of its matrix of access options, and discusses the applicability of traditional and conventional library selection and organizational philosophies, practices, methods and techniques for facilitating access to web resources. - Abstract from the Journal of Internet Cataloging.
Miller, Eric. "An introduction to the Resource Description Framework." D-Lib Magazine (May 1998).
"RFD ... designed to encourage the exchange, use and extension of metadata semantics among disparate information communities ... is a W3C proposed standard for defining the architecture necessary for supporting web metadata."--E. Miller.
Miller, Paul. "Dublin Comes to Europe." Ariadne 14 (March 1998)
Report on the European Commission meeting on metadata. Includes a link to UKOLN tutorial on metadata presented at the conference, report on the Nordic Metadata Project, and other reports on European metadata initiatives. -P.C.
Nelson, Michael L. and Sandra L. Esler. "TRSkit: A Simple Digital Library Toolkit." Journal of Internet Cataloging 1, no. 2 (1997): 41-55.
This paper introduces TRSkit, a simple and effective toolkit for building digital libraries on the World Wide Web. The toolkit was developed for the creation of the Langley Technical Report Server and the NASA Technical Report Server, but is applicable to most simple distribution paradigms. TRSkit contains a handful of freely available software components designed to be run under the UNIX operating system and served via the World Wide Web. The intended customer is the person who must continuously and synchronously distribute anywhere from 100-100,000s of information units and does not have extensive resources to devote to the problem. - Abstract from the Journal of Internet Cataloging.
Neumeister, Susan M. "Cataloging Internet Resources: A Practitioner's Viewpoint." Journal of Internet Cataloging 1, no. 1 (1997): 25-45.
In 1995, the University at Buffalo libraries began to identify, select, and catalog non-serial Internet resources. Among the points covered in this article are the selection process for identifying information sources through the Internet; the policies and procedures for providing access to them; the bibliographic, holdings, and OPAC displays; and the problems encountered during the project. - Abstract from the Journal of Internet Cataloging.
Noble, Cherrie. "Reflecting on Our Future." Computers in Libraries 18, no. 2 (Feb. 1998): 50-4.
On role of the virtual librarian adapting metadata. -E.I.
Rondestvedt, Karen. "Growing Pains at REESWeb: Thoughts on Restructuring a Link Site Which Has Outgrown Its Organization." Journal of Internet Cataloging 1, no. 3 (1998): 47-57.
REESWeb: Russian and East European Studies Internet Resources is an annotated, subject-specific link site, part of the World Wide Web Virtual Library, begun in late 1993. In its four years it has become a huge site and difficult to use. A reorganization last year using Frames and shortened pages helped, but its structure still causes problems for users. There are four basic reasons why the site is difficult to use in its present form: no search engine, split categories, idiosyncratic terminology and idiosyncratic subcategorization. The search engine problem will be solved soon, after the site moves to a new server. Another simple improvement will be to create a map of the site. These two changes by themselves are not enough, because the site needs increased browsability. The author explores various considerations involved in reorganizing REESWeb, taken from other Web sites, from subject cataloging and from indexing. - Abstract from the Journal of Internet Cataloging.
"Special Issue: The Best Library-Related Web Sites." Library Hi Tech 15, no.3-4 (1997) (
The articles in this special issue are from the site managers of the winners of the "Best Library-Related Web Sites Contest." If one overlooks the flawed contest itself, the articles represent an interesting mix of experiences in setting up and managing a diverse range of library-related Web sites. Some of these sites are clearly well-deserved of their reward, and are setting the standards by which others should aspire (for example, the OhioLink site at Some well-deserved sites are unique in what they do and will likely not have many competitors (such as the Internet Scout Report at They all have stories to tell, and you can pick and choose among them to find the ones that best meet your needs or pique your interest. -RT Abstract is from Current Cites 9, no. 1 (Jan. 1998).
Thiele, Howard. "Dublin Core and Warwick Framework : a Review of the Literature, March 1995-September 1997." D-Lib Magazine (Jan. 1998).
Analysis of literature on the Dublin Core Workshop Series, noting trends and possible future research directions. -E.I.
Wallace, Patricia M. "Serial Holdings Statements: A Necessity or a Nuisance?" Technical Services Quarterly 14, no. 3 (1997): 11- 24.
Addresses the topic of summary holdings statements being made obsolete by ILS possibility for item details (which would include availability information). -E.I.
Weibel, Stuart and Juha Hakala. "DC-5: The Helsinki Metadata Workshop." D-Lib Magazine (Feb. 1998) (
Faithful readers of Current Cites will recognize the Dublin Core, which is probably our best chance at creating a metadata (can you say "cataloging" boys and girls?) standard that can serve a diversity of users and purposes. This article is a report on the Fifth Dublin Core meeting, held in Helsinki in the fall of 1997. The article also serves to bring us up-to-date on the current status of the draft standard, in which we discover that the frozen north served to freeze the 15 elements in what is being called in typical DC style, the "Finnish finish". There will be no more elements added or deleted to the core. Don't let that fool you, though, as much work remains to specify what can be put into those fields (content) and how (syntax). Those of you who would like to participate can find everything you need to know at the Dublin Core Web site ( -RT Abstract from Current Cites 9, no. 2 (Feb. 1998)
Wolfram, Dietmar, and Alexandra Dimitroff. "Preliminary Findings on Searcher Performance and Perceptions of Performance in a Hypertext Bibliographic Retrieval System." Journal of the American Society for Information Science 48, no. 12 (1998): 1142-5.

Xu, Amanda. "Metadata Conversion and the Library OPAC." The Serials Librarian 33, no. 1-4 (Spring 1998) (
Every once in a while I run into an article that gives me a distinct impression that the person writing it is living before their time. This is one such. I have a feeling that most of what Xu writes about in this article will be barely understandable to most people and yet may be taken for granted within five years. Xu's basic thesis is that the best interface to information for library users is the library catalog. Given that, why should we force our clientele to use a separate interface to access Web resources? Why not "suck in" metadata from Web resources into our library catalogs and provide our users with "one-stop" shopping? Why not indeed? Well, the very idea is anathema to many -- mainly those charged with creating and maintaining a highly structured and high-quality library catalog database. To some degree, this philosophical issue is at the very core of our future digital libraries. Will our users increasingly see a division between print and digital? Or will we use technology to bring them ever closer together? Xu is of the latter camp, but unfortunately she may just be a few years too early for most readers. Read this article, read it again, then read it between the lines. Then think about possibilities and our users who depend upon possibilities realized. - Quoted from RT Current Cites 8, no. 10 (Oct. 1997)