The RDN web site
On the staffing front, the Resource Discovery Network Centre has appointed Justine Kitchen (Information and Training Manager) and Simon Jennings (Service Manager), both of whom are based at King's College London and started work in early December 1999. At UKOLN Andy Powell, with some support from colleagues, acts as the RDNC's System and Interoperability Manager and Pete Cliff has just been appointed as RDNC Systems Developer.
Daniel Greenstein, co-director of the RDNC has recently resigned from King's College London to take up the post of Director of the Digital Library Federation, a US consortium of research libraries. UKOLN and the RDNC take this opportunity to wish Dan well in his new role and look forward to possible transatlantic collaboration in the future.
RDN hubs and the RDNC have been successful with several proposals in response to JISC calls to develop Z39.50 compliant services, including a comprehensive, subject-based approach to portal development and the enhancement of ROADS Z39.50 support in line with the Distributed National Electronic Resource (DNER) architecture.
UKOLN is a partner of CULTIVATE, an Accompanying Measure for the European Commission's Fifth Framework programme. The project has many similarities to EXPLOIT, but will focus on projects funded under the Fifth Framework which has a broader remit, covering museums and archives, as well as library initiatives. UKOLN's involvement with CULTIVATE will be the development of a web magazine. The project is expected to start early in 2000.
Ariadne continues to develop and make friends around the world. Shortly, if all goes well, every word published in Ariadne during the past four years will be available in a US education fulltext database, distributed on a world-wide basis. This is a mark of the significance of Ariadne's contribution to the discussions surrounding digital library initiatives, both in the UK and the US.
An Ariadne reader, 'Delivering the Electronic Library' drawing on articles from issues 1 to 18 has been put together by Lyndon Pugh, John MacColl and Lorcan Dempsey for distribution, principally, to UK institutions of Higher Education. The reader contains a good cross-section of articles published, and reflects something of real life in the UK eLib community during these important early years. John MacColl has contributed a short discussion of the book to Ariadne issue 22, published in December 1999.
The current issue of Ariadne is available at www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue22/
We have recently prepared a general analysis of Ariadne's access statistics from October 1998 to October 1999. Although all such statistics are subjective, taking as read all the known caveats and problems with the interpretation of access statistics, it is clear that Ariadne's user base is continuing to expand. During October 1998 we received just under a quarter of a million raw hits from all sources. In October this year, the raw hit count for all issues of Ariadne had climbed to more than a third of a million per month. This means that during the entire year, Ariadne took over 3 million hits.
If we compare these statistics with those for October 1999, we find that Ariadne user sessions were up to 34,119 for the whole month, which is equivalent to 1,100 user sessions per day. Page views per month were up to 102,593, or 3,310 per day (137 page views per hour), and Ariadne's home page now fields 7,762 hits per day - more than 320 hits per hour. The chart in Figure 5 summarises the user sessions over the period.
Looking at Ariadne user sessions from the geographical point of view, the October 1998 usage plausibly emanating from the United States was 45.6% of the total number (using domains as the discriminating factor, although since some of these are also used elsewhere, .com for example, the figure is necessarily imprecise). Unknown or ambiguous addresses (unresolvable domain names, etc.) amounted to 18.19%, and everybody else makes up the remaining 36.2%. In October 1999 the US usage was pretty much the same, at 46.75%. Unknown and ambiguous addresses made up 18.35% of the total, and the others were 34.88%.
Finally, if we look back over Ariadne use since its launch, a clear trend is visible. In January 1996 (the month of its launch), it managed to clock up 106 sessions; and one year later the usage had risen to 324 per day. In July 1997 the daily user sessions were 355. By May 1998 the usage had reached 480 per day. Now Ariadne receives 1,100 user sessions daily. So Ariadne usage has risen more than ten-fold since its first publication in January 1996, and has doubled between May 1998 and October 1999.
Exploit Interactive is a web magazine funded by the European Commission as part of the EXPLOIT project, an Accompanying Measure for the Fourth Framework's Telematics for Libraries programme. To date three issues have been published, in April, July and October 1999. The editorial in issue 3 reviewed progress to date. Each issue has included over 20 articles which describe developments with Telematics for Libraries projects, projects funded by other funding initiatives, such as eLib, as well as a range of more general articles. As well as providing a valuable dissemination channel, Exploit Interactive also provides a useful testbed for UKOLN's research interests. For example Dublin Core metadata is embedded in articles to enable an enhanced searching facility to be provided.
UKOLN was involved in five major events during the autumn.
Together with Goldsmiths College London, we organised the third 'International Web Managers Workshop' which was held at Goldsmiths' on 7-9 September.
The ninth workshop in the MODELS series, 'MIA and Hybrid Information Environments', was held at the University of Warwick on 13-14 October and focussed on the current MIA requirements analysis study. Forty-five delegates took part and the breakout sessions produced some lively debate and ideas for further consideration were put forward.
MODELS 10 followed on 1-2 November. The title of the workshop was 'Rights Management' and the aim was to bring together the different communities involved in rights management, to talk about central issues, discuss current initiatives and try to agree on sensible common approaches. Thirty-nine delegates attended and discussions led to plans for a workshop on terminology to be held in the New Year.
Both the MODELS Workshops were funded by the JISC elib programme.
UKOLN in association with EARL, hosted a workshop entitled 'Running a Public Library Web Site' in November. This was a new initiative and forty-one delegates from Local Authorities all over the country attended. The workshop, which was well received, provided sessions on web site design, an introduction to metadata, tools to maintain web sites and a look at the lessons that can be learnt from the higher education sector experience.
We also co-ordinated the launch of the Resource Discovery Network at the Congress Centre, London on 19 November.
Events planned for early 2000 include two one-day workshops for the eLib Clump Projects at Goldsmiths College, London on 3 March and Glasgow University on 11 April which will provide an update on the projects.
Bernadette Daly left UKOLN, and the UK, in September to take up the post of Manager of the Fountain Hills Public Library in Arizona. We wish her well in her new venture in more sunny climes. Congratulations are also due to Tracy Gardner who was awarded a PhD in December from the University of Bath for her work on inheritance relationships for disciplined software construction, and to Rosemary Russell and John on the birth of their son Leo in November.
Two new members of staff joined UKOLN at the beginning of the year. Pete Cliff takes up the new post of RDNC Systems Developer. Pete is an English and Philosophy graduate of the University of Kent, but took the plunge into the dark world of Computer Science with a Conversion Masters last year. Bridget Robinson will be working as the Agora Communications Manager whilst Rosemary is on maternity leave. We welcome Pete and Bridget to UKOLN.
We have recently refined our staffing structure to better map teams of staff onto actual ways of working and to align staff groupings with our strategic aims and objectives. We now deliver services to the library, information and cultural heritage communities through the; policy and advice; research and development; distributed systems and services teams and events and web-based information services. The resources and administration team supports all UKOLN activities. In addition, Rachel Heery and Andy Powell are now Assistant Directors as well as Team Leaders for research and development and distributed systems and services respectively. Brian Kelly leads the information services team and Sally Criddle leads the resources and administration team.
Chapman, A. Bibliographic record provision in the UK: measuring availability against demand. Bath: UKOLN, 1999, ISBN 0951685651.
Criddle, S., Dempsey, L. and Heseltine, R. (eds.) Information landscapes for a learning society: networking and the future of libraries 3. London: Library Association Publishing, 1999, ISBN 185604310X.
Dempsey, L. and Ormes, S. The Internet, networking and the future of the public library. London: Library Association Publishing, 1997, ISBN 1856042022. UKOLN
If you have any comments on the newsletter, please contact, Sally Criddle, Newsletter Editor, at the above address or by email.
UKOLN is funded by the Library and Information Commission, the Joint Information Systems Committee of the Higher Education Funding Councils, as well as by project funding from the JISC and the European Union. UKOLN also receives support from the University of Bath where it is based.
Web page by
Criddle of UKOLN.
Last updated on 05-Feb-2000
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