Published in May 15, 1997.
Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis
There is a rapid growth of scholarly electronic journals on the Internet. The ARL Directory of Electronic Journals, Newsletters and Academic Discussion Lists included 110 electronic journals and newsletters in its 1991 edition, 240 titles in the 1993 edition, and over 400 titles in the 1994 edition. In 1995 the number was increased to 700 titles (up 66% from 1994), and in 1996 up to 1,688 (257% increase since 1995). New electronic journals are released in an average of 15 titles per day in NewJour, an update service for the ARL Directory.
The 1996 Directory notes that the number of e-journals published by the commercial publishers and scholarly societies is increasing, so is the number of peer-reviewed journals available on the Internet.
The majority of these electronic journals are in fact online versions or editions of the print journals. According to the "STM journal survey report" by Hitchcock, Carr, and Hall, 65% of the electronic journals in science, technology and medicine (STM) are electronic editions of print journals and 35% are published in electronic format only. The number of electronic-only STM journals was very small compared to the total number of science journals published in 1995. (Steve Hitchcock, Leslie Carr and Wendy Hall, "A survey of STM online journals 1990-95: the calm before the storm" In ARL 1996 Directory of Electronic Journals, Newsletters and Academic Discussion Lists)
While both the 1996 ARL Directory and Harter's 1995 survey report that 90% of the networked electronic journals are free, Hitchcock, Carr, and Hall find a much lower percentage (57% ) of free e-journals in science, technology, and medicine.
Modes of Access
Of these, some are hierarchically organized subject browsing lists, and some are search engines which collect data from the documents on the Net, create a searchable database, offer sophisticated search capabilities and present ranked retrieval results. Certain locator servers such as Yahoo have both browsing and searching capabilities.
Search engines offer automated resource discovery and indexing capability, use natural language processing, provide immediate access to a vast array of Internet resources. They are easy to use and maintenance-free. However, search engines offer no authority control for names or subject vocabulary, nor classification schemes for information organization. Neither do they provide cross-references or support field searching. The free-text searching on documents themselves, file name, URL, html title and document headers, etc. often results in extensive hits requiring users to wade through masses of irrelevant and incomprehensible entries to get the information they need.
Library catalogs provide access to journal titles which have been carefully evaluated and selected for the inclusion in a library's collection. Library catalogs use controlled author identification, subject vocabulary, and classification to organize bibliographic data in the descriptive surrogate records, providing selective and comprehensive search capabilities with high precision rate. A number of next generation library catalog systems are now capable of hot-linking the URL on the bibliographic records to the electronic documents being described. Catalog records provide content information which can help users to evaluate the resources before accessing, whereas indexing tools find a match and provide access only. Likewise, system requirements and access information on the catalog records are critical for users who must be able to have compatible computing environment to access. Library catalogs should provide equal access to traditional print serials and electronic serials in one integrated system. So users do not have to perform the same search in multiple systems. This is especially critical for those titles split-published in multiple formats. The applicability of cataloging rules and MARC formats in cataloging electronic journals have been challenged. Problematic cataloging areas such as editions, seriality, frequency, designation, and title continue to be addressed and solutions are being sought by the cataloging community. Another weakness of MARC record is its structure which is designed for single object description, and linear access does not adapt well to the description of multi-level hypertext objects on the Internet. Some people are skeptical about the usefulness and validity of the library cataloging approach in organizing Internet resources. Some are questioning the need to create bibliographic surrogates for electronic resources when the digital objects are available by a mouse click, and their title page and table of contents are both online. One of the major opposition against cataloging Internet resources holds that cataloging is too costly and labor-intensive, and the cataloging process cannot keep pace with the proliferation of resources available on the Internet. The OCLC InterCat project which calls for collaborative cataloging efforts demonstrates that libraries can play an important role in providing access to Internet resources. A recent study by Taemin Park finds 60.2% of the electronic journals listed in the 1996 ARL Directory have been cataloged on OCLC (Taemin Park, Bibliographic Control and Access of Networked Electronic Journals in OCLC and Local Libraries)
These special electronic journal pages provide linked access to selected or acquired titles. Being small in scale and very focused in coverage, these pages are more useful than the Internet finding aids such as Yahoo or AltaVista. Library e-journal pages are easy to navigate and can keep statistics for e-journal use studies. Some pages provide manually created annotations or unit records for each electronic journal included, serving as a brief description to help users determine if the journal meets their information needs. Some pages of e-journal directories (e.g. CICNet's EJC and NewJour) provide searching capabilities on title, topics, and/or descriptions. However, topic headings are generally too broad to be useful for file/document retrieval. Headings assigned do not follow any conventional thesaurus and are thus difficult to search unless one knows the vocabulary being used.
Library Web pages provide access by known titles only. there is no mechanism to provide variant title access and serial management control at all. Creating annotation or description records are labor-intensive and redundant tasks which duplicate the work of cataloging. For this very reason, a number of libraries are contemplating to discontinue the creation of annotations or descriptions for their e-journal pages. For those libraries who catalog electronic journals in their catalogs, keeping e-journal Web pages requires double database maintenance.
In summary, Internet search engines retrieve too little information on the objects to be useful. Library catalog model provides rich description and efficient access, but is too costly for the large amount of e-journals on the Internet. And library Web pages are merely title browse lists with links to the electronic resources.
The convergence of Web and cataloging
A number of research projects and developments attempt to either adapt cataloging principles to improve the Internet search engines or to utilize robot to assist traditional cataloging process. For instance, a few developing systems make use of subject analysis tools to incorporate thesauri along with natural language access to add controlled vocabulary automatically (Carol Mandell & Robert Wolven ). Some developing systems use part of the MARC fields, classification schemes, prepared abstracts, subject headings, etc. However, none of these fully exploit cataloging methods and standards. Data collected automatically by robot are not catalog record equivalents. Moreover, none of the indexing tools could substitute library catalogs.
Several research projects are undertaken to explore computer-assisted cataloging. Some approaches assume that less-than-full bibliographic description provides sufficient access to resources whose title pages and table of contents are both online. Projects Scorpion attempts to use DDC classification schedules to automate subject assignment for e-documents and present the search results to catalogers as a tool. There is the meta-cataloging approach which attempt to expedite cataloging process by attaching metadata to the resources they describe. This approach follows the traditional Cataloging in Publication model that descriptive data are supplied by the resource creators and can be mapped and translated into various codes and be used by search engines and traditional cataloging. Initiatives such as TEI headers, Dublin Core data elements, and the OCLC Spectrum Project attempt to establish a standard subset of basic data elements necessary for resource identification and retrieval using key metadata supplied by authors to create minimal-level surrogates which can be used for full level catalog records.
Despite the three options to access electronic journals, the basic question regarding journal article access remains unanswered. Although traditional catalog surrogate records have significantly enhanced the identification and access to journal titles, they do not point nor access to the journal content, that is, the articles per se. This is also true for the library e-journal home pages. The majority of library users searching journals in the OPAC have either a citation in hand or a topic in mind. Internet search engines are the only one of the three modes discussed above that provide limited author, title, and subject search capabilities for journal articles on the Internet. Article-level access has been traditionally provided by commercial indexing and abstracting services. Unfortunately, these services are lagging behind the publishers in providing access to electronic journals. On the other hand, some electronic publishers such as Project Muse and JSTOR are building search engines in their own databases for full-text indexing. As more and more index and abstract databases are moving away from the CD-ROM technology to use the Web interface, it seems that the next logical step is for the service providers to provide the links to the electronic journals on the Internet. Alternatively, following the "hooks-to-holdings" model, indexes and abstract databases can be linked to a library's holdings by ISSN number and provide direct access to e-journals by URL (856 field) instead of call numbers as currently used in the "hooks-to-holdings" model.
Cataloging will not be replaced anytime soon. And cataloging Internet resources deserves strong commitments from the library community. The development of computer-assisted cataloging is promising and should be further explored. Dynamic catalog records with hyper-link capability awaits for further research. Future development and applications of knowledge bases and robots for knowledge gathering and retrieval may have potentials to revolutionize or replace traditional cataloging operations. In the meantime, as we live in an environment where multiple approaches and options prevail, no one approach is perfect nor can any one approach provide access to all the networked electronic resources for all people.
San Jose State UNiversity
As the current president of CALA, I am very pleased to have this opportunity to share with you about CALA's role in Chinese and American librarianship, and its activities in enhancing the communications between the libraries and librarians between China and the United States. Since its founding in 1973, CALA has been making great effort in promoting the development of Chinese and American librarianship. After China opened its door to the world, numerous exchange programs, such as workshops, seminars, conferences were carried out by CALA, as an professional organization, or by its members individually. Today, among the 650 active CALA members, 19 are from China as either institutional or individual members.
CALA's first president Dr. Tze-chung Li has played an important role in promoting the exchanges between American and Chinese libraries. Dr. Hwa-Wei Lee, CALA's former president, and Andrew Wang of OCLC have been very active in organizing workshops, seminars, and training programs for Chinese librarians. During the years, many CALA members visited China and participated in various exchange programs. They also sponsored numerous Chinese librarians to visit American libraries and receive training. In 1996 alone, there were three consecutive conferences in China which were co-sponsored by CALA. As a recognized professional association in the library world, delegates from CALA were invited to attend the grand openings of the new National Library building in Beijing, and the new Shanghai Library building in Shanghai. CALA's Book to China program chaired by Julie Tung has shipped numerous donations to Chinese libraries.
I don't have a complete list of CALA's activities involved in the development of Chinese librarianship in China, so I can only mention a few that I am aware of. Today, I'll focus on my personal experience of my latest trip to China attending three conferences in a row, on behalf of CALA last August. The first one was the first "US-China Conference on Global Information Access in Beijing"; the second one was IFLA in Beijing, and the 3rd one was the "International Symposium on Academic Libraries in the 21st Century", in Shanghai. With IFLA being recognized as the core conference, these conferences were labeled as the preconference, the conference, and after-conference. In Chinese, they are "hui qian hui", "hui zhong hui" and "hui ho hui". I took part in all of them. Since Angela already reported about the First China-US Conference on Global Information Access, I'm going to focus on CALA's activities at IFLA.
It was the first time that China hosted the IFLA conference. The Chinese government rendered great support to the success of the conference. The Premier of the State Council of China, Li Peng, addressed the opening speech; the State Councilor and Secretary-General of the State Council, Luo Gan, was the Chair of the Organizing Committee; the famous sociologist Fei Xiao-tong was the keynote speaker. China's key newspaper People's Daily published an editorial "Welcome the New Era of Library: Congratulations on the Opening of the 62nd IFLA Conference". Librarians became TV stars during those days on all Chinese TV stations. Therefore, IFLA arouse special attention from Chinese people. For the first time, librarians received so much nationwide attention and felt themselves treasured by the people who we serve. What a great feeling!
There were 2,500 attendees from 91 countries, with 800 Chinese delegates as the largest group, and 234 US delegates as the second largest group. Then, there were 135 from Japan, 117 from Russia, 98 from France, 84 from Korea, 65 from Denmark, 56 from Netherlands, 50 from United kingdom, 47 from Norway, and 46 from Malaysia. The seven day conference included 214 sessions, 18 poster-sessions, three floors of exhibits, and hundreds of presented papers. Robert Doyle had an article about IFLA in the American Libraries, which said "according to many experienced IFLA attendees, the single most impressive activity of the conference was the transportation" provided by the Organizing Committee. Delegates were transported in 75 buses escorted by the police like a 5-kilometer long parade, while the rest of Beijing came to a standstill during the rush-hour. This made the American delegates worry that we may not be able to provide transportation nearly as good as the Chinese did when the IFLA holds its conference in Boston in 2001. "Social events were held every night and it is often said that the receptions are where most of the 'work' is done at an IFLA conference. Because of language and cultural differences, the informal sharing of ideas and experiences across boundaries is critical."
During the conference, CALA sponsored a very successful panel discussion on "Chinese American Librarians' Activities in the Changing World" with the assistance of China Organizing Committee. The great success was due to the hard work of Susan Bau who coordinated this important event. I chaired this session and Mr. Lim Hong Too, former Director of Nanyang Technological University of Singapore moderated the session. The meeting room was overcrowded by the enthusiastic Chinese librarians. There was a total of 13 speakers from CALA. The presentations and discussions focused on three topics: "libraries as Gateways to Information", "Continuing Education of Librarians in a Changing World", and "Resource Sharing".
The presentations were warmly welcomed by the enthusiastic audience. After each presentation, questions were answered and ideas were exchanged. We ran out of the original 40 copies of the paper in five minutes. Additional 50 copies were made, but still not enough. Finally, we promised them that they could get the copies the next day, thus to ease the anxiety of the audience. Before the panel discussion, we decided to conduct this session in Chinese because we expect that it was most likely that Chinese librarians would attend the meeting, and it was more convenient for mutual discussion in Chinese. However, I noticed three Caucasian faces among the audience before the meeting. I went up to them to warn them that this session would be conducted in Chinese. To my great surprise, they said "mei guan xi" ("It is OK."). I learned a lesson, just like a Chinese saying "ren bu ke mao xiang" ("never make assumptions by one's appearance").
My next stop was Shanghai, my hometown. I attended the after-conference, the "International Symposium on Academic Libraries in the 21st Century", at Jiaotong University. I made a short speech on behalf of CALA. We did a membership drive during the three conferences. As a result, many Chinese librarians handed in their applications to me right on the spot.
While I was in Shanghai, I had the chance to visit the construction site of Shanghai Library. The new building was completed in mid-December last year. CALA sent a letter of congratulations to its grand opening ceremony. The library is highly automated. Rather than following the traditional closed-stack practice, it opens the stack to the public. I was very much impressed by its artistic architectural design, High-tech facilities its orientation to provide information and serve the readers in the most effective and efficient way. I offered CALA's assistance to them. However, I am afraid their technology may already surpass many of the American libraries. That's all about my experience in China last summer.
I am proud of CALA for its global involvement in promoting Chinese and American librarianship. I want to quote Mr. Zhuang Shoujing, former Director of Beijing University Library and CALA's 1995 Distinguished Service Award recipient. When he concluded his speech at the IFLA/CALA panel, he inspired us to "further strengthen the global friendship of Chinese librarians, and promote the development of librarianship in the 21st century."
Shu-fang Hsia Lin
Government Documents Librarian
St. Johns University
1. Federal Depository Library Program; a brief note
The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) was originated from the Act of 1813 [3 Stat. 140] when Congress authorized additional copies of the House and Senate Journals and other Congressional documents be printed and distributed to institutions outside the Federal Government.
In 1858, a Joint Resolution [11 Stat. 368] authorized each Representative to designate a depository in his or her district. And one year later in 1859, each Senator was also authorized to designate one depository in the state he or she represented.
Title 44 of the U. S. Code and the Freedom of Information Act provides an important statutory framework for federal information dissemination. Title 44 Section 19 of the U. S. Code (44 USC 19) requires all federal agencies' informational documents, published at the Government expenses, have to be made available to the Superintendent of Documents for distribution to Depository Libraries, except a relatively small percentage of documents that belong to one of the following categories:
Government publications were distributed to all designated libraries from the beginning of the Depository Program in 1813 to 1922 when a law in 1923 [42 Stat. 436] changed this practice. By that law, libraries could make their selection in advance through the classified List of United States Government Publications.
Until the Depository Library Act of 1962 (P.L. 87-579) libraries had to retain forever what they selected except for superseded issues. P.L. 87-579 allows libraries to dispose depository materials, with the permission from their respective Regionals, after five years' retention. Each state has one designated "Regional Library" to receive all publications distributed through the Program, and keep them permanently for archival purposes.
In the FDLP, only the 53 Regionals are obligated to receive all Government publications. The rest depository libraries, that is, the selectives, select only categories of publications to meet the needs of their primary clientele and the general public needs in the Congressional District.
From the Act of 1813 to present, the Federal Depository Program has grown and developed into a system of close to 1400 Federal Depository Libraries and over 7,000 class stems today.
2. U. S. Government Printing Office and the FDLP
The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and the Government Printing Office (GPO) have been intertwined for almost a hundred years. The 1860 Printing Act authorized the Superintendent of Public Printing to execute the public printing himself and to be solely in charge of administrating all related matters. The title of "Superintendent of Public Printing" was changed to "Public Printer" in 1876.
In order to consolidate Congressional Printing, the Government Printing Office began its public printing monopoly in 1861. Prior to that, all Congressional printing had been handled by private firms.
A landmark legislation of public printing laws, the Printing Act of 1895 centralized all public printing, and, transferred the office of Superintendent of Documents from the Dept. of the Interior to the Govt. Print. Off., which also paid all distribution expenses.
GPO has been the world's most prolific publisher. The documents, covering a wide variety of subjects, appear in monograph, serial, looseleaf, pamphlet, poster, map, microfiche, CD-ROM, and electronic forms. They come from all types of sources of the three branches of the Federal Government.
II. Depository Library's Role in Information Dissemination
1. Gateway to Government Publications
The mission of the Federal Depository Program is to provide free public access to information produced by the Federal Government through designated libraries in various Congressional districts. While Depository Libraries have the privilege of receiving government publications free of charge, they also make a legal commitment to provide government information to the general public, especially in their respective localities.
The primary goal of FDLP is to provide the general public with a means of free access to government documents, which are published at taxpayers' expenses. While the underlying principles is that in a proper functioned democratic society, citizens have a right to information contained in Government Documents, and the government has an obligation to ensure the availability and free access to those publications. Thus, Depository Libraries play an important role in availing the Federal Government to disseminate information on the one hand, and, to provide access for all citizens to obtain information from the Government, on the other.
Under the direction of its Collection Development Policy, each selective depository library selects, receives, organizes, preserves, and makes U. S. Government Publications easily accessible to users. Just like other types of libraries, a Depository Library also serves the following functions:
Each Depository Library plays an important role in information dissemination, and serves as a gateway to Government information, especially for people in its respective locality.
2. Taking Information to the User
Depository Libraries are, by law, obligated to provide free public access to the governments documents collection, which remains to be the property of the U. S. Government. Therefore, in some private institutions where libraries only serve their own patrons, their depository collection should still be free access to all, which includes but not limited to proper signage, restriction free, physically accessible, etc. In assuring public access, Depository Libraries are also obligated to promote public awareness of the FDLP's mission as well as the depository collection. Along the lines of assisting users in government information retrieval, in-house reference guides, handouts, and instructions are produced. Occasionally referrals are made to other documents/federal information repositories in the region when deemed necessary. Depository Libraries serve as an effective vehicle to carry out Washington's Mission in "taking Government information to the People", which ensures a wide availability of government publications to people in all localities.
III. Depository Libraries' Challenges in the Age of Change
1. Government Information in Electronic Format
GPO has been decreasing in massive paper printing of documents through the past two decades, due to significant cuttings in funds for printing and publishing from the federal expenditure. Budgetary constrains have deteriorated GPO's once centralized government printing. Since 1977 GPO has been increasingly producing more and more documents in microfiche format to reduce amount of paperwork, to decrease expenditure, and to save storage space for most libraries. At present, nearly two-thirds of items distributed to Depository Libraries from GPO are in microfiche format.
Thanks to the rapid advances in information technology in the past few years, GPO has been putting its full force in heading for distributing government information in electronic format, i. e. CD-ROMs, floppy diskettes, Electronic Bulletin Boards, on-line databases, etc. For example, from 1991-1994 alone, more than 800 CD-ROM products were distributed to Depository Libraries. GPO is marching into an electronic era in the 90's. Major developments can be summed up as follows:
The GPO Access service started with three full-text databases:
This new GPO Access program was officially inaugurated in June 1994. It enables Depository Libraries, with a validated registration with GPO, to provide free off-site access through their own computer system. And, GPO has been expanding the availability of the GPO Access WAIS (Wide Area Information Server) system by developing model gateways for no-fee public access to GPO's databases, such as the LUIS System in University of Illinois, the QUEST System in Seattle Public Library, the COIN System in University of Missouri, to name a few. GPO's direction is to extend the gateway program nationwide, and to use Depository Libraries to link the general public with the GPO system. Using Depository Libraries as gateways to provide no-fee off-site public access to GPO's online services is a vital step toward the electronic based depository library of the future. Effective Dec. 1, 1995, GPO Access became free of charge to all users.
2. Depository Library and Electronic Government Information
This is an age of information technology revolution. The FDLP is definitely on its way to a period of transition. On the Dec. 29, 1995 issue of the Administrative Notes, the Superintendent of Documents officially announced a Transition Plan for the Electronic Federal Depository Library Program, FY 1996- FY 1998, and a Policy Statement on "Electronic Information Access and Dissemination Services of the FDLP", in which it states, "The FDLP will rapidly shift to a more electronically based program." Based on the direction from Congress, GPO expects "nearly all of the information provided through the Federal Depository Library (FDLP) will be electronic by the end of fiscal year 1998". And, Depository libraries are expected to" provide no-fee public access to information identified in SOD Pathway Services as well as to information made available directly through the FDLP", and "offer users access to work stations with a graphical user interface, CD- ROM capability, Internet connections, and the ability to access, download, and print extensive documents."
Retrieval of electronic data requires capable personnel and compatible facilities. For Depository Libraries, the immediate critical issues involved are:
Without resolving those issues, to most Americans, GPO would only be a huge warehouse of unused Federal government information. How to meet the challenge of the electronic information in future? How to keep up with the expanding world of electronic information delivery, and, more importantly, how to select useful information from the proliferation of electronic data to meet users' individual needs? As the Superintendent of Documents Wayne Kelley pointed out, "Electronic publishing and dissemination technologies are shifting the emphasis from what a library owns to what the library user can access."
In recognition of the growing importance of information technology as a means of communication in a democratic government, the Clinton Administration sponsored a National Electronic Open Meeting on the subject of "People and Their Government in the Information Age", from May 1-14, 1995. The primary goal of the meeting was to enable as many Americans as possible to participate in the dialogue, to encourage public opinion/discussion/comments on the respective roles of the Federal/State/local governments, the library community, etc., in developing an effective and efficient government. The Meeting was divided into five Internet discussion groups, among which "Access to Government Information" was one of the five topics discussed. Based on the fundamental belief that government information is a public asset, this Open Meeting was an extension of the Federal government's efforts to establish a framework for government's roles and activities in the information age.
The "National Information Infrastructure Initiative" has been on the priority agenda of the Federal government. The current trend within the Federal government is to collect, store, and disseminate information in electronic format, i.e., building more and more the so-called "Information Super Highway." A special concern is that Americans might become divided between information "haves" and information "have nots" when most Government publication are only disseminated in electronic format. How to ensure a free access to the "Information Superhighway" for all Americans? The local Depository Library is the answer.
1. "GPO Electronic Information Access Enhancement Act of 1993" (PL 103-40, 8 June 1993), U.S. Statutes at Large 107, pp.112-114.
2. McGarr, Sheila. "Snapshots of the Federal Depository Library Program", Administrative Notes 15:11 (Aug.15, 1994) pp.6-13.
3. Morehead, Joe and Mary Fetzer. Introduction to U. S. Government Information Sources, 4th ed. Englewood: Libraries Unlimited, 1992.
4. "Paperwork Reduction act of 1995" (PL 104-13, 22 May, 1995)
5. U. S. Congress. House. Committee on Government Operations. Paperwork Reduction and Federal Information Resources Management Act of 1990, H. Rpt. 101-927, Washington, GPO, 1990.
6. U. S. Government Print. Off. Superintendent of Documents. Library Programs Service. "The Electronic Federal Depository Library Program: Transition Plan, FY 1996-FY 1998", Administrative Notes, 16:18 (Dec. 29, 1995) pp. 1-26.
7. U. S. Government Print. Off. 100 GPO Years 1861-1961: a History of United States Public Printing. Washington, GPO, 1961.
8. U. S. Government Print. Off. "Responses to Depository Library Council Recommendations from the 1994 Spring Meeting: Policy Issues", Administrative Notes, 15:13 (Oct. 15, 1994) pp. 14- 33.
9. U. S. Off. of the President. Technology for America's Economic Growth: A New Direction to Build Economic Strength. (Washington, DC: GPO, 1993), pp.28-30.