Status Report on $250,000 FY 1997
Digital Library Allocation


June 9, 1997
Report to Carol Christ, The Vice Chancellor and Provost
Authored by Peter Lyman, University Librarian, with Attachments


This is a report on The Library's use of the $250,000 FY 1997 digital library budget supplement. However, it also contains related information about digital library initiatives in general, both at Berkeley and at the Office of the President, which provides a useful context for intrepreting the scope and impact of digital library development at this point in time. The Library's goal was to develop online collections which would:

a) provide students, faculty, and researchers with highly useful online collections supporting learning, teaching and research in a wide variety of disciplines, and enables faculty to participate in selecting, using, and evaluating digital libraries;

b) enable the Library to build and manage a technical infrastructure and to develop support services that will be essential for students and faculty to make effective use of digital journal collections on a large scale in the next two years.

The collections, databases, and special projects described below were selected in consultation with faculty. They were chosen for their quality; ability to complement other resources such as CD-ROMs, Melvyl Databases, or other Internet resources; and for their anticipated use by both faculty and students. Many of the resources are already available to the campus community and the others will come on line as contracts are concluded and the technical infrastructure completed. Web addresses for those already accessible are included.

The $250,000 one-time digital library supplement funded initial purchase, license, and development costs; recurring costs will be paid from a combination of collections and operations expenses. In this way, additional $250,000 digital library supplements to The Library's budget will expand the digital library resources available to the campus without their initial costs crowding out print resources, a very active concern that faculty continue to express.

We anticipate that within a few years, as there are greater numbers of high quality information resources on the Internet, and available through Library and UCOP-based systems, both faculty and students will become comfortable with a reliance on the new tools to help them with research, teaching, and learning. At that time there will be greater acceptance among faculty for selecting new collections, tools, or licensed resources based on their usefulness rather than on their format. For the next few years, however, it will be quite useful to provide initial funding for new resources, projects, and experiments outside of the collections budget.

Although it is too soon to evaluate the impact of networked and digital collections, attached MELVYL System Statistics suggest two trends:

(a) Berkeley makes very significant use of online information (177,681 sessions including 5,400,471 specific records displayed in April 1997), which is significantly more use than any other UC campus;
(b) Berkeley users are more likely to make use of online information by remote network connection than by coming to the Library, one of only two UC campuses with a significant preference for remote use.
These statistics suggest that there is already significant acceptance of digital library technology by Berkeley's researchers, and that remote access by network is likely to grow rapidly as journal are placed online.

1. The Electronic Reference Shelf.

Students and faculty immediately benefit from online reference databases. They are much easier to search than print tools, and are available 24 hours per day from any network-accessible workstation. Moreover, use of both print and digital collections generally increases with investment in online reference databases. As the attachment to this report shows, there are already numerous reference tools, primarily Indexing and Abstracting Services, available through the Melvyl System, and these tools are heavily used by students and faculty at Berkeley. The Electronic Reference Shelf enhances and expands the amount of general reference sources available for research from dorms, offices, and labs; it will grow in content and usefulness over time the campus is able to add new tools through purchase or licensing. The resources currently available often include full text linked to indices and abstracts, and complement similar resources available through the Melvyl system or UC licenses to other providers. The $250,000 supplement was directed to making available important resources that are not expected to be provided through UCOP. Contracts have been concluded or are in process for:

UC Berkeley students and faculty have come to rely heavily upon digital reference tools, and this reliance has created demand to increase the online resources available to the campus community. It will be quite strategic to continue to develop the online reference shelf, because it is useful, and not only helps to build experience with and acceptance of digital library resources, but also improves users' efficiency in using the print collections.

2. Humanities Resources.

Electronic full-text databases are having significant effect on teaching and research in language and literature, making it possible to search and browse text online, to analyze text in new ways, to compare the works of several authors or the text of various editions easily. The resources included in the Humanities Full Text Collections were selected by a partnership of faculty and librarians; this partnership included participation by the Townsend Center Working Group on Computing in the Humanities. As a result of this year's digital library funding, The Library now provides access to the following full-text humanities resources:

Resources from Chadwyck Healey Publishers, including:

CD-ROM Resources. A variety of humanities texts were acquired with the Digital Library supplement. For a list of the titles, see the attachment CD-ROMs in the Humanities and in Area Studies.

3. Online Journals.

4. Computer Sciences Technical Reports.

Print versions of Computer Science Technical Reports are very hard to find, since they are produced and supplied by individual universities throughout the country. DARPA research funding enabled a consortium of Computer Science Departments to digitize their technical reports and mount them on the Web to overcome these access problems. The Computer Sciences Technical Reports project (http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/NCSTRL) illustrates our first - and successful - effort to transfer technology created through computer science research on campus to a production library digital library collection and service. The innovative Dienst searching software developed through the research funding allows for transparent searching across the many servers constituting the national Computer Science Technical Reports collection created by the participants. For example, a single search of the topic "Internet" retrieves more than one hundred technical reports housed at 23 separate institutions. Once the research funding had ceased, The Library worked in partnership with computer scientists on campus to transfer their research technology and existing database into a reliable production service located on the Library's server. Ongoing maintenance of the Berkeley database and future upgrades will be handled by the Library.

This project is important both for the content it makes available over the Internet - to researchers at Berkeley and around the world - and for the "proof of concept" experience with technology transfer it gave both the Department of Computer Science and The Library. The Computer Sciences Technical Reports website receives very heavy use by students, faculty and researchers on this campus and from around the world. In addition, the software and operational procedures developed for the project can be used for other publishing projects, for example of papers and reports of institutes on campus.

5. Digital Experiment in Physics, Astronomy, Math.

This project is a prototype for delivery of journal articles directly to the researcher by network, and tests the concept that access to online information can complement ownership of collections. A critical mass of online journals has been reached in these disciplines, and researchers generally have access to the necessary network and workstation technologies. This project is building a seamless front end to Berkeley's Web-based catalog, Pathfinder, which will enable researchers to go directly from a citation to an article (e.g., from an online periodical index) to delivery of the article (whether from local holdings or document delivery). Software specifications are complete and programming is now taking place. The prototype web site is at: http://sunsite.berkeley.edu:2000/customPage/scienceLib.html.

There is an emerging critical mass of science journals already online that can serve as a testbed for this project. For examples, see:
The American Mathematical Society Journals at http://www.ams.org;
the Institute of Physics Journals at http://www.iop.org and http://ojps.aip.org;
and the American Physical Society Journals at http://publish.aps.org/indexjrnls.html.
Currently, it can be difficult for library users systematically to find and use web-based resources; the Digital Experiment project will help librarians learn how best to organize web-based collections so that students and faculty can use them easily and effectively.

6. Social Science Data Library.

The Social Science Data Library will provide access to quantitative social science data (including census, economic, education and California welfare data) using a web-based interface. This collaborative project is being carried within a consortium of libraries, the most active of which include Stanford, UCSD, and Oregon State. The benefits of this project will be several, including support of instruction, facilitating research, and development of a digital library infrastructure to support quantitative data.

(a) Benefit to Teaching and Research: The Library and UCDATA are partners in developing the tools and services to manage quantitative data for research and teaching. Currently the quantitative resources are available as stand-alone products, each with its own unique interface which one must learn to use before the data can be retrieved and manipulated. Creating an online library of the various data sources, with a common interface and tools for analyzing and displaying the data graphically will support instructional programs and initiatives to improve quantitative literacy. Networked resources will improve research productivity by overcoming the inconveniences caused by the current, unnetworked data resources.

(b) Technical Infrastructure: The Technical Infrastructure developed for the census and other commonly-used government datasets will be particularly important as the U.S. government increasingly publishes its information in online rather than print form. Moreover, UC Data, The Library, and the consortial partners are seeking to use the data resources and the technical infrastructure developed through this project as the basis for the creation of an international quantitative data library resource which can be supported through institutional licenses and user fees.

Status: The CD-ROM-based census data have been moved from the Lawrence Berkeley Lab to a server at UC Data. The temporary address is: http://ucdata.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/lookup.cgi. Currently, UC DATA is doing the analysis required to move the CD-ROMS to the Library's Sunsite where the data will become available through a Web interface. Development of access tools and online user documentation, as well as the addition of other data files will follow. The Census system is heavily used by students in many undergraduate courses as well as by faculty and researchers. The new data library will improve resources and services needed by economics, business, political science and many other fields.

Summary:

The $250,000 Digital Library supplement has provided important resources to the campus, and has advanced our understanding of how we build a digital library that will improve teaching, learning, and research productivity. The resources made available through the supplement have been very complementary to those already available through library-based CD-ROMs, Melvyl databases, and other internet resources.

As context for the report above, attached are lists of the titles available through JSTOR and Project Muse, as well as a list of CD-ROM titles in the Humanities and Area Studies purchased with library collections funds, and databases available through Melvyl and Systemwide funding. The Library is in the process of compiling a comprehensive list of digital library resources available to the campus, beyond those listed above and attached.

Berkeley is one of the heaviest users of the Melvyl system database, and attached for your information are some statistics showing how actively the Berkeley campus uses those online resources. We are compiling similar statistics for the digital resources available through means other than Melvyl.

The UC System, Library collections funds, and the campus supplement have made many rich resources available for research and teaching. It is significant that faculty and students use these digital resources heavily, and take them for granted as they do their work. Although there remain many more resources that need to be added to our digital library collections, and we need to understand better how to make digital library resources work effectively for faculty and students, the campus would benefit from better, and more complete, information about how well we are doing. Therefore, we plan to provide publicity and informational seminars for faculty and students in the fall.


Attachments:

Currently Available JSTOR Content (printout dated 6/6/97):

http://www.jstor.org/about/content.html

Project MUSE (printout dated 6/6/97):

http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/index_text.html

General Databases and Systems Available on the MELVYL System

CD-ROMs in the Humanities and in Area Studies

Melvyl System Monthly Statistics, April 1997:

General Statistics
Find Commands
Records Displayed
Relative Use of Databases
Use Command
Database Usage


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Copyright © 1997 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.
Authored by: Peter Lyman, June 9, 1997.
Document maintained by: Ann Moen
Last update 7/17/97. Server manager: contact.