Raising Awareness

"A centre of excellence in digital information management, providing advice and services to the library, information and cultural heritage communities."

UKOLN is based at the University of Bath.
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New Ariadne Available

Ariadne Issue 68 has recently been made available on the World Wide Web and its readers will immediately notice it has a completely new look-and-feel, not only to the latest issue but the entire site. Its appearance represents the sum of several months' work on modernising the publication. It has been redesigned in order to make it more responsive to the needs of not just the busy practitioner but also readers with a mind to delve more deeply into the Magazin's content which dates back to the beginnings of digital library and resources development when it was first published alongside its print companion issue in January 1996.

Brian Kelly has written, 'I am pleased to announce developments to Ariadne which not only enhance the user interface but also, perhaps more importantly, provide much richer access to the large number of articles which have been published during its lifetime.

Ariadne was launched at a time when mailing lists provided the main communications channel with Web sites acting primarily for publishing information. In today's environment there is a much greater diversity of communications and publication channels including blogs, wikis, Twitter and social networks. Ariadne continues to have a valuable role to play in this space and we hope the developments which have been launched in this issue will appeal to both existing readers and those who may not have come across Ariadne previously. In light of the changing landscape we have reduced Ariadne's publication frequency from four to three times per year. We feel Ariadne provides a valuable publishing channel which is positioned between the many blogs which describe digital library developments and peer-reviewed journals. We hope you enjoy the new-look Ariadne and welcome your feedback.'

Ariadne user survey overview





The development of the new platform for the publication has been driven by the thoughts and suggestions of respondents to surveys conducted prior to the onset of development and which we have worked hard to address. We are not by any means closed to further feedback and the Magazine carries a new system of contacting us in order to give your further thoughts and suggestions. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the many readers and authors of Ariadne for their time and contributions and look forward to future feedback.

This feature is not intended to go into great detail about the improvements the new site offers since the simplest thing is for readers to visit Ariadne themselves. Nonetheless, you will, we hope, appreciate that much has been undertaken to address the requirements identified prior to development. The considerable advancement made in screen resolutions has meant that we have adopted a narrower band of article text to make articles far more readable and provide at the same time considerably more complementary information about the articles in the right-hand column at article level.

The use of tags has meant that the publication now enjoys a radically higher degree of connectivity in all respects and offers readers a wide range of new data, of particular use to readers seeking information on particular themes or on authors' interest and expertise. Newcomers to information science benefit from an easier path to information about concepts and developments thanks to the corpus of keywords now offered by Ariadne while the inclusion of data analysis features also provide readers with the opportunity to test such concepts in terms of their recency and level of usage.

Whatever the platform and mode of delivery, the core of a publication like Ariadne is its body of content, now considerably more searchable and usable than before. A great deal of effort has been invested in ensuring that none was lost in the migration process and we would be very keen to hear from authors at any time, but in particular if something of theirs has failed to appear! We have gone to great lengths to make that content more readily summarised, whether through tags, tables of sub-headings and the analysis features mentioned above. While the perspective of publication's editor will ever remain forward-looking, seeking the material that will be of use and interest to readers as it emerges, there can be no denying, as some respondents have wisely pointed out, that Ariadne represents one of the few remaining long-term witnesses of developments from the mid-1990s to the present day. It is our contention that this migration to a Drupal-based platform has also provided readers many more tools with which to investigate that history should they so wish.

Note: You can find latest updates on our home page and previous articles in Feature archive.

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