Forecasting the Use of Electronic Texts by Social Sciences and Humanities Scholars
This presentation explores the ways in which electronic texts are likely to be used by the non-scientific scholarly community. Many of the remarks are drawn from a report the speaker coauthored with Jeff Rothenberg, a computer scientist at The RAND Corporation.
The speaker assesses 1) current scholarly use of information technology and 2) the key trends in information technology most relevant to the research process, in order to predict how social sciences and humanities scholars are apt to use electronic texts. In introducing the topic, current use of electronic texts is explored broadly within the context of scholarly communication. From the perspective of scholarly communication, the work of humanities and social sciences scholars involves five processes: 1) identification of sources, 2) communication with colleagues, 3) interpretation and analysis of data, 4) dissemination of research findings, and 5) curriculum development and instruction. The extent to which computation currently permeates aspects of scholarly communication represents a viable indicator of the prospects for electronic texts.
The discussion of current practice is balanced by an analysis of key trends in the scholarly use of information technology. These include the trends toward end-user computing and connectivity, which provide a framework for forecasting the use of electronic texts through this millennium. The presentation concludes with a summary of the ways in which the nonscientific scholarly community can be expected to use electronic texts, and the implications of that use for information providers.
Susan VECCIA and Joanne FREEMA
Electronic Archives for the Public: Use of American Memory in Public and School Libraries
This joint discussion focuses on nonscholarly applications of electronic library materials, specifically addressing use of the Library of Congress American Memory (AM) program in a small number of public and school libraries throughout the United States. AM consists of selected Library of Congress primary archival materials, stored on optical media (CD-ROM/videodisc), and presented with little or no editing. Many collections are accompanied by electronic introductions and user's guides offering background information and historical context. Collections represent a variety of formats including photographs, graphic arts, motion pictures, recorded sound, music, broadsides and manuscripts, books, and pamphlets.
In 1991, the Library of Congress began a nationwide evaluation of AM in different types of institutions. Test sites include public libraries, elementary and secondary school libraries, college and university libraries, state libraries, and special libraries. Susan VECCIA and Joanne FREEMAN will discuss their observations on the use of AM by the nonscholarly community, using evidence gleaned from this ongoing evaluation effort.
VECCIA will comment on the overall goals of the evaluation project, and the types of public and school libraries included in this study. Her comments on nonscholarly use of AM will focus on the public library as a cultural and community institution, often bridging the gap between formal and informal education. FREEMAN will discuss the use of AM in school libraries. Use by students and teachers has revealed some broad questions about the use of electronic resources, as well as definite benefits gained by the "nonscholar." Topics will include the problem of grasping content and context in an electronic environment, the stumbling blocks created by "new" technologies, and the unique skills and interests awakened through use of electronic resources.
S The Perseus Project: Interactive Sources and Studies in Classical Greece
The Perseus Project 5 has just released Perseus 1.0, the first publicly available version of its hypertextual database of multimedia materials on classical Greece. Perseus is designed to be used by a wide audience, comprised of readers at the student and scholar levels. As such, it must be able to locate information using different strategies, and it must contain enough detail to serve the different needs of its users. In addition, it must be delivered so that it is affordable to its target audience. [These problems and the solutions we chose are described in Mylonas, "An Interface to Classical Greek Civilization," JASIS 43:2, March 1992.]
In order to achieve its objective, the project staff decided to make a conscious separation between selecting and converting textual, database, and image data on the one hand, and putting it into a delivery system on the other. That way, it is possible to create the electronic data without thinking about the restrictions of the delivery system. We have made a great effort to choose system-independent formats for our data, and to put as much thought and work as possible into structuring it so that the translation from paper to electronic form will enhance the value of the data. [A discussion of these solutions as of two years ago is in Elli Mylonas, Gregory Crane, Kenneth Morrell, and D. Neel Smith, "The Perseus Project: Data in the Electronic Age," in Accessing Antiquity: The Computerization of Classical Databases, J. Solomon and T. Worthen (eds.), University of Arizona Press, in press.]
Much of the work on Perseus is focused on collecting and converting the data on which the project is based. At the same time, it is necessary to provide means of access to the information, in order to make it usable, and them to investigate how it is used. As we learn more about what students and scholars from different backgrounds do with Perseus, we can adjust our data collection, and also modify the system to accommodate them. In creating a delivery system for general use, we have tried to avoid favoring any one type of use by allowing multiple forms of access to and navigation through the system.
The way text is handled exemplifies some of these principles. All text in Perseus is tagged using SGML, following the guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). This markup is used to index the text, and process it so that it can be imported into HyperCard. No SGML markup remains in the text that reaches the user, because currently it would be too expensive to create a system that acts on SGML in real time. However, the regularity provided by SGML is essential for verifying the content of the texts, and greatly speeds all the processing performed on them. The fact that the texts exist in SGML ensures that they will be relatively easy to port to different hardware and software, and so will outlast the current delivery platform. Finally, the SGML markup incorporates existing canonical reference systems (chapter, verse, line, etc.); indexing and navigation are based on these features. This ensures that the same canonical reference will always resolve to the same point within a text, and that all versions of our texts, regardless of delivery platform (even paper printouts) will function the same way.
In order to provide tools for users, the text is processed by a morphological analyzer, and the results are stored in a database. Together with the index, the Greek-English Lexicon, and the index of all the English words in the definitions of the lexicon, the morphological analyses comprise a set of linguistic tools that allow users of all levels to work with the textual information, and to accomplish different tasks. For example, students who read no Greek may explore a concept as it appears in Greek texts by using the English-Greek index, and then looking up works in the texts and translations, or scholars may do detailed morphological studies of word use by using the morphological analyses of the texts. Because these tools were not designed for any one use, the same tools and the same data can be used by both students and scholars.
5, Perseus is based at Harvard University, with collaborators at several other universities. The project has been funded primarily by the Annenberg/CPB Project, as well as by Harvard University, Apple Computer, and others. It is published by Yale University Press. Perseus runs on Macintosh computers, under the HyperCard program.
Chadwyck-Healey embarked last year on two distinct yet related full-text humanities database projects.
The English Poetry Full-Text Database and the Patrologia Latina Database represent new approaches to linguistic research resources. The size and complexity of the projects present problems for electronic publishers, but surmountable ones if they remain abreast of the latest possibilities in data capture and retrieval software techniques.
The issues which required address prior to the commencement of the projects were legion:
A. If one is selected, should it be SGML?
B. If SGML, then the TEI?
From new notions of "scholarly fair use" to the future of optical media, virtually every issue related to electronic publishing was aired. The result is two projects which have been constructed to provide the quality research resources with the fewest encumbrances to use by teachers and private scholars.
In spring 1988 the editors of the papers of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin were approached by classics scholar David Packard on behalf of the Packard Humanities Foundation with a proposal to produce a CD-ROM edition of the complete papers of each of the Founding Fathers. This electronic edition will supplement the published volumes, making the documents widely available to students and researchers at reasonable cost. We estimate that our CD-ROM edition of Washington's Papers will be substantially completed within the next two years and ready for publication. Within the next ten years or so, similar CD-ROM editions of the Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison papers also will be available. At the Library of Congress's session on technology, I would like to discuss not only the experience of the Washington Papers in producing the CD-ROM edition, but the impact technology has had on these major editorial projects. Already, we are editing our volumes with an eye to the material that will be readily available in the CD-ROM edition. The completed electronic edition will provide immense possibilities for the searching of documents for information in a way never possible before. The kind of technical innovations that are currently available and on the drawing board will soon revolutionize historical research and the production of historical documents. Unfortunately, much of this new technology is not being used in the planning stages of historical projects, simply because many historians are aware only in the vaguest way of its existence. At least two major new historical editing projects are considering microfilm editions, simply because they are not aware of the possibilities of electronic alternatives and the advantages of the new technology in terms of flexibility and research potential compared to microfilm. In fact, too many of us in history and literature are still at the stage of struggling with our PCs. There are many historical editorial projects in progress presently, and an equal number of literary projects. While the two fields have somewhat different approaches to textual editing, there are ways in which electronic technology can be of service to both.
Since few of the editors involved in the Founding Fathers CD-ROM editions are technical experts in any sense, I hope to point out in my discussion of our experience how many of these electronic innovations can be used successfully by scholars who are novices in the world of new technology. One of the major concerns of the sponsors of the multitude of new scholarly editions is the limited audience reached by the published volumes. Most of these editions are being published in small quantities and the publishers' price for them puts them out of the reach not only of individual scholars but of most public libraries and all but the largest educational institutions. However, little attention is being given to ways in which technology can bypass conventional publication to make historical and literary documents more widely available.
What attracted us most to the CD-ROM edition of The Papers of George Washington was the fact that David Packard's aim was to make a complete edition of all of the 135,000 documents we have collected available in an inexpensive format that would be placed in public libraries, small colleges, and even high schools. This would provide an audience far beyond our present 1,000-copy, $45 published edition. Since the CD-ROM edition will carry none of the explanatory annotation that appears in the published volumes, we also feel that the use of the CD-ROM will lead many researchers to seek out the published volumes.
In addition to ignorance of new technical advances, I have found that too many editors--and historians and literary scholars--are resistant and even hostile to suggestions that electronic technology may enhance their work. I intend to discuss some of the arguments traditionalists are advancing to resist technology, ranging from distrust of the speed with which it changes (we are already wondering what is out there that is better than CD-ROM) to suspicion of the technical language used to describe electronic developments.
The Online Journal of Current Clinical Trials, a joint venture of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC), is the first peer-reviewed journal to provide full text, tabular material, and line illustrations on line. This presentation will discuss the genesis and start-up period of the journal. Topics of discussion will include historical overview, day-to-day management of the editorial peer review, and manuscript tagging and publication. A demonstration of the journal and its features will accompany the presentation.
Cornell University Library, Cornell Information Technologies, and Xerox Corporation, with the support of the Commission on Preservation and Access, and Sun Microsystems, Inc., have been collaborating in a project to test a prototype system for recording brittle books as digital images and producing, on demand, high-quality archival paper replacements. The project goes beyond that, however, to investigate some of the issues surrounding scanning, storing, retrieving, and providing access to digital images in a network environment.
The Joint Study in Digital Preservation began in January 1990. Xerox provided the College Library Access and Storage System (CLASS) software, a prototype 600-dots-per-inch (dpi) scanner, and the hardware necessary to support network printing on the DocuTech printer housed in Cornell's Computing and Communications Center (CCC).
The Cornell staff using the hardware and software became an integral part of the development and testing process for enhancements to the CLASS software system. The collaborative nature of this relationship is resulting in a system that is specifically tailored to the preservation application.
A digital library of 1,000 volumes (or approximately 300,000 images) has been created and is stored on an optical jukebox that resides in CCC. The library includes a collection of select mathematics monographs that provides mathematics faculty with an opportunity to use the electronic library. The remaining volumes were chosen for the library to test the various capabilities of the scanning system.
One project objective is to provide users of the Cornell library and the library staff with the ability to request facsimiles of digitized images or to retrieve the actual electronic image for browsing. A prototype viewing workstation has been created by Xerox, with input into the design by a committee of Cornell librarians and computer professionals. This will allow us to experiment with patron access to the images that make up the digital library. The viewing station provides search, retrieval, and (ultimately) printing functions with enhancements to facilitate navigation through multiple documents.
Cornell currently is working to extend access to the digital library to readers using workstations from their offices. This year is devoted to the development of a network resident image conversion and delivery server, and client software that will support readers who use Apple Macintosh computers, IBM windows platforms, and Sun workstations. Equipment for this development was provided by Sun Microsystems with support from the Commission on Preservation and Access.
During the show-and-tell session of the Workshop on Electronic Texts, a prototype view station will be demonstrated. In addition, a display of original library books that have been digitized will be available for review with associated printed copies for comparison. The fifteen-minute overview of the project will include a slide presentation that constitutes a "tour" of the preservation digitizing process.
The final network-connected version of the viewing station will provide library users with another mechanism for accessing the digital library, and will also provide the capability of viewing images directly. This will not require special software, although a powerful computer with good graphics will be needed.
The Joint Study in Digital Preservation has generated a great deal of interest in the library community. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, this project serves to raise a vast number of other issues surrounding the use of digital technology for the preservation and use of deteriorating library materials, which subsequent projects will need to examine. Much work remains.
Networking Multimedia Databases
What do we have to consider in building and distributing databases of visual materials in a multi-user environment? This presentation examines a variety of concerns that need to be addressed before a multimedia database can be set up in a networked environment.
In the past it has not been feasible to implement databases of visual materials in shared-user environments because of technological barriers. Each of the two basic models for multi-user multimedia databases has posed its own problem. The analog multimedia storage model (represented by Project Athena's parallel analog and digital networks) has required an incredibly complex (and expensive) infrastructure. The economies of scale that make multi-user setups cheaper per user served do not operate in an environment that requires a computer workstation, videodisc player, and two display devices for each user.
The digital multimedia storage model has required vast amounts of storage space (as much as one gigabyte per thirty still images). In the past the cost of such a large amount of storage space made this model a prohibitive choice as well. But plunging storage costs are finally making this second alternative viable.
If storage no longer poses such an impediment, what do we need to consider in building digitally stored multi-user databases of visual materials? This presentation will examine the networking and telecommunication constraints that must be overcome before such databases can become commonplace and useful to a large number of people.
The key problem is the vast size of multimedia documents, and how this affects not only storage but telecommunications transmission time. Anything slower than T-1 speed is impractical for files of 1 megabyte or larger (which is likely to be small for a multimedia document). For instance, even on a 56 Kb line it would take three minutes to transfer a 1-megabyte file. And these figures assume ideal circumstances, and do not take into consideration other users contending for network bandwidth, disk access time, or the time needed for remote display. Current common telephone transmission rates would be completely impractical; few users would be willing to wait the hour necessary to transmit a single image at 2400 baud.
This necessitates compression, which itself raises a number of other issues. In order to decrease file sizes significantly, we must employ lossy compression algorithms. But how much quality can we afford to lose? To date there has been only one significant study done of image-quality needs for a particular user group, and this study did not look at loss resulting from compression. Only after identifying image-quality needs can we begin to address storage and network bandwidth needs.
Experience with X-Windows-based applications (such as Imagequery, the University of California at Berkeley image database) demonstrates the utility of a client-server topology, but also points to the limitation of current software for a distributed environment. For example, applications like Imagequery can incorporate compression, but current X implementations do not permit decompression at the end user's workstation. Such decompression at the host computer alleviates storage capacity problems while doing nothing to address problems of telecommunications bandwidth.
We need to examine the effects on network through-put of moving multimedia documents around on a network. We need to examine various topologies that will help us avoid bottlenecks around servers and gateways. Experience with applications such as these raise still broader questions. How closely is the multimedia document tied to the software for viewing it? Can it be accessed and viewed from other applications? Experience with the MARC format (and more recently with the Z39.50 protocols) shows how useful it can be to store documents in a form in which they can be accessed by a variety of application software.
Finally, from an intellectual-access standpoint, we need to address the issue of providing access to these multimedia documents in interdisciplinary environments. We need to examine terminology and indexing strategies that will allow us to provide access to this material in a cross-disciplinary way.
Ronald LARSEN Directions in High-Performance Networking for Libraries
The pace at which computing technology has advanced over the past forty years shows no sign of abating. Roughly speaking, each five-year period has yielded an order-of-magnitude improvement in price and performance of computing equipment. No fundamental hurdles are likely to prevent this pace from continuing for at least the next decade. It is only in the past five years, though, that computing has become ubiquitous in libraries, affecting all staff and patrons, directly or indirectly.
During these same five years, communications rates on the Internet, the principal academic computing network, have grown from 56 kbps to 1.5 Mbps, and the NSFNet backbone is now running 45 Mbps. Over the next five years, communication rates on the backbone are expected to exceed 1 Gbps. Growth in both the population of network users and the volume of network traffic has continued to grow geometrically, at rates approaching 15 percent per month. This flood of capacity and use, likened by some to "drinking from a firehose," creates immense opportunities and challenges for libraries. Libraries must anticipate the future implications of this technology, participate in its development, and deploy it to ensure access to the world's information resources.
The infrastructure for the information age is being put in place. Libraries face strategic decisions about their role in the development, deployment, and use of this infrastructure. The emerging infrastructure is much more than computers and communication lines. It is more than the ability to compute at a remote site, send electronic mail to a peer across the country, or move a file from one library to another. The next five years will witness substantial development of the information infrastructure of the network.
In order to provide appropriate leadership, library professionals must have a fundamental understanding of and appreciation for computer networking, from local area networks to the National Research and Education Network (NREN). This presentation addresses these fundamentals, and how they relate to libraries today and in the near future.
Edwin BROWNRIGG Electronic Library Visions and Realities
The electronic library has been a vision desired by many--and rejected by some--since Vannevar Bush coined the term memex to describe an automated, intelligent, personal information system. Variations on this vision have included Ted Nelson's Xanadau, Alan Kay's Dynabook, and Lancaster's "paperless library," with the most recent incarnation being the "Knowledge Navigator" described by John Scully of Apple. But the reality of library service has been less visionary and the leap to the electronic library has eluded universities, publishers, and information technology files.
The Memex Research Institute (MemRI), an independent, nonprofit research and development organization, has created an Electronic Library Program of shared research and development in order to make the collective vision more concrete. The program is working toward the creation of large, indexed publicly available electronic image collections of published documents in academic, special, and public libraries. This strategic plan is the result of the first stage of the program, which has been an investigation of the information technologies available to support such an effort, the economic parameters of electronic service compared to traditional library operations, and the business and political factors affecting the shift from print distribution to electronic networked access.
The strategic plan envisions a combination of publicly searchable access databases, image (and text) document collections stored on network "file servers," local and remote network access, and an intellectual property management-control system. This combination of technology and information content is defined in this plan as an E-library or E-library collection. Some participating sponsors are already developing projects based on MemRI's recommended directions.
The E-library strategy projected in this plan is a visionary one that can enable major changes and improvements in academic, public, and special library service. This vision is, though, one that can be realized with today's technology. At the same time, it will challenge the political and social structure within which libraries operate: in academic libraries, the traditional emphasis on local collections, extending to accreditation issues; in public libraries, the potential of electronic branch and central libraries fully available to the public; and for special libraries, new opportunities for shared collections and networks.
The environment in which this strategic plan has been developed is, at the moment, dominated by a sense of library limits. The continued expansion and rapid growth of local academic library collections is now clearly at an end. Corporate libraries, and even law libraries, are faced with operating within a difficult economic climate, as well as with very active competition from commercial information sources. For example, public libraries may be seen as a desirable but not critical municipal service in a time when the budgets of safety and health agencies are being cut back.
Further, libraries in general have a very high labor-to-cost ratio in their budgets, and labor costs are still increasing, notwithstanding automation investments. It is difficult for libraries to obtain capital, startup, or seed funding for innovative activities, and those technology-intensive initiatives that offer the potential of decreased labor costs can provoke the opposition of library staff.
However, libraries have achieved some considerable successes in the past two decades by improving both their service and their credibility within their organizations--and these positive changes have been accomplished mostly with judicious use of information technologies. The advances in computing and information technology have been well-chronicled: the continuing precipitous drop in computing costs, the growth of the Internet and private networks, and the explosive increase in publicly available information databases.
For example, OCLC has become one of the largest computer network organizations in the world by creating a cooperative cataloging network of more than 6,000 libraries worldwide. On-line public access catalogs now serve millions of users on more than 50,000 dedicated terminals in the United States alone. The University of California MELVYL on-line catalog system has now expanded into an index database reference service and supports more than six million searches a year. And, libraries have become the largest group of customers of CD-ROM publishing technology; more than 30,000 optical media publications such as those offered by InfoTrac and Silver Platter are subscribed to by U.S. libraries.
This march of technology continues and in the next decade will result in further innovations that are extremely difficult to predict. What is clear is that libraries can now go beyond automation of their order files and catalogs to automation of their collections themselves--and it is possible to circumvent the fiscal limitations that appear to obtain today.
This Electronic Library Strategic Plan recommends a paradigm shift in library service, and demonstrates the steps necessary to provide improved library services with limited capacities and operating investments.
The Cornell/Xerox Joint Study in Digital Preservation resulted in the recording of 1,000 brittle books as 600-dpi digital images and the production, on demand, of high-quality and archivally sound paper replacements. The project, which was supported by the Commission on Preservation and Access, also investigated some of the issues surrounding scanning, storing, retrieving, and providing access to digital images in a network environment.
Anne Kenney will focus on some of the issues surrounding direct scanning as identified in the Cornell Xerox Project. Among those to be discussed are: image versus text capture; indexing and access; image-capture capabilities; a comparison to photocopy and microfilm; production and cost analysis; storage formats, protocols, and standards; and the use of this scanning technology for preservation purposes.
The 600-dpi digital images produced in the Cornell Xerox Project proved highly acceptable for creating paper replacements of deteriorating originals. The 1,000 scanned volumes provided an array of image-capture challenges that are common to nineteenth-century printing techniques and embrittled material, and that defy the use of text-conversion processes. These challenges include diminished contrast between text and background, fragile and deteriorated pages, uneven printing, elaborate type faces, faint and bold text adjacency, handwritten text and annotations, nonRoman languages, and a proliferation of illustrated material embedded in text. The latter category included high-frequency and low-frequency halftones, continuous tone photographs, intricate mathematical drawings, maps, etchings, reverse-polarity drawings, and engravings.
The Xerox prototype scanning system provided a number of important features for capturing this diverse material. Technicians used multiple threshold settings, filters, line art and halftone definitions, autosegmentation, windowing, and software-editing programs to optimize image capture. At the same time, this project focused on production. The goal was to make scanning as affordable and acceptable as photocopying and microfilming for preservation reformatting. A time-and-cost study conducted during the last three months of this project confirmed the economic viability of digital scanning, and these findings will be discussed here.
From the outset, the Cornell Xerox Project was predicated on the use of nonproprietary standards and the use of common protocols when standards did not exist. Digital files were created as TIFF images which were compressed prior to storage using Group 4 CCITT compression. The Xerox software is MS DOS based and utilizes off-the shelf programs such as Microsoft Windows and Wang Image Wizard. The digital library is designed to be hardware-independent and to provide interchangeability with other institutions through network connections. Access to the digital files themselves is two-tiered: Bibliographic records for the computer files are created in RLIN and Cornell's local system and access into the actual digital images comprising a book is provided through a document control structure and a networked image file-server, both of which will be described.
The presentation will conclude with a discussion of some of the issues surrounding the use of this technology as a preservation tool (storage, refreshing, backup).
Pamela ANDRE and Judith ZIDAR
The National Agricultural Library (NAL) has had extensive experience with raster scanning of printed materials. Since 1987, the Library has participated in the National Agricultural Text Digitizing Project (NATDP) a cooperative effort between NAL and forty-five land grant university libraries. An overview of the project will be presented, giving its history and NAL's strategy for the future.
An in-depth discussion of NATDP will follow, including a description of the scanning process, from the gathering of the printed materials to the archiving of the electronic pages. The type of equipment required for a stand-alone scanning workstation and the importance of file management software will be discussed. Issues concerning the images themselves will be addressed briefly, such as image format; black and white versus color; gray scale versus dithering; and resolution.
Also described will be a study currently in progress by NAL to evaluate the usefulness of converting microfilm to electronic images in order to improve access. With the cooperation of Tuskegee University, NAL has selected three reels of microfilm from a collection of sixty-seven reels containing the papers, letters, and drawings of George Washington Carver. The three reels were converted into 3,500 electronic images using a specialized microfilm scanner. The selection, filming, and indexing of this material will be discussed.
Project Open Book, the Yale University Library's effort to convert 10,000 books from microfilm to digital imagery, is currently in an advanced state of planning and organization. The Yale Library has selected a major vendor to serve as a partner in the project and as systems integrator. In its proposal, the successful vendor helped isolate areas of risk and uncertainty as well as key issues to be addressed during the life of the project. The Yale Library is now poised to decide what material it will convert to digital image form and to seek funding, initially for the first phase and then for the entire project.
The proposal that Yale accepted for the implementation of Project Open Book will provide at the end of three phases a conversion subsystem, browsing stations distributed on the campus network within the Yale Library, a subsystem for storing 10,000 books at 200 and 600 dots per inch, and network access to the image printers. Pricing for the system implementation assumes the existence of Yale's campus ethernet network and its high-speed image printers, and includes other requisite hardware and software, as well as system integration services. Proposed operating costs include hardware and software maintenance, but do not include estimates for the facilities management of the storage devices and image servers.
Yale selected its vendor partner in a formal process, partly funded by the Commission for Preservation and Access. Following a request for proposal, the Yale Library selected two vendors as finalists to work with Yale staff to generate a detailed analysis of requirements for Project Open Book. Each vendor used the results of the requirements analysis to generate and submit a formal proposal for the entire project. This competitive process not only enabled the Yale Library to select its primary vendor partner but also revealed much about the state of the imaging industry, about the varying, corporate commitments to the markets for imaging technology, and about the varying organizational dynamics through which major companies are responding to and seeking to develop these markets.
Project Open Book is focused specifically on the conversion of images from microfilm to digital form. The technology for scanning microfilm is readily available but is changing rapidly. In its project requirements, the Yale Library emphasized features of the technology that affect the technical quality of digital image production and the costs of creating and storing the image library: What levels of digital resolution can be achieved by scanning microfilm? How does variation in the quality of microfilm, particularly in film produced to preservation standards, affect the quality of the digital images? What technologies can an operator effectively and economically apply when scanning film to separate two-up images and to control for and correct image imperfections? How can quality control best be integrated into digitizing work flow that includes document indexing and storage?
The actual and expected uses of digital images--storage, browsing, printing, and OCR--help determine the standards for measuring their quality. Browsing is especially important, but the facilities available for readers to browse image documents is perhaps the weakest aspect of imaging technology and most in need of development. As it defined its requirements, the Yale Library concentrated on some fundamental aspects of usability for image documents: Does the system have sufficient flexibility to handle the full range of document types, including monographs, multi-part and multivolume sets, and serials, as well as manuscript collections? What conventions are necessary to identify a document uniquely for storage and retrieval? Where is the database of record for storing bibliographic information about the image document? How are basic internal structures of documents, such as pagination, made accessible to the reader? How are the image documents physically presented on the screen to the reader?
The Yale Library designed Project Open Book on the assumption that microfilm is more than adequate as a medium for preserving the content of deteriorated library materials. As planning in the project has advanced, it is increasingly clear that the challenge of digital image technology and the key to the success of efforts like Project Open Book is to provide a means of both preserving and improving access to those deteriorated materials.
In the use of electronic imaging for document preservation, there are several issues to consider, such as: ensuring adequate image quality, maintaining substantial conversion rates (through-put), providing unique identification for automated access and retrieval, and accommodating bound volumes and fragile material.
To maintain high image quality, image processing functions are required to correct the deficiencies in the scanned image. Some commercially available systems include these functions, while some do not. The scanned raw image must be processed to correct contrast deficiencies-- both poor overall contrast resulting from light print and/or dark background, and variable contrast resulting from stains and bleed-through. Furthermore, the scan density must be adequate to allow legibility of print and sufficient fidelity in the pseudo-halftoned gray material. Borders or page-edge effects must be removed for both compactibility and aesthetics. Page skew must be corrected for aesthetic reasons and to enable accurate character recognition if desired. Compound images consisting of both two-toned text and gray-scale illustrations must be processed appropriately to retain the quality of each.
Standards publications being developed by scientists, engineers, and business managers in Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) standards committees can be applied to electronic image management (EIM) processes including: document (image) transfer, retrieval and evaluation; optical disk and document scanning; and document design and conversion. When combined with EIM system planning and operations, standards can assist in generating image databases that are interchangeable among a variety of systems. The applications of different approaches for image-tagging, indexing, compression, and transfer often cause uncertainty concerning EIM system compatibility, calibration, performance, and upward compatibility, until standard implementation parameters are established. The AIIM standards that are being developed for these applications can be used to decrease the uncertainty, successfully integrate imaging processes, and promote "open systems." AIIM is an accredited American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards developer with more than twenty committees comprised of 300 volunteers representing users, vendors, and manufacturers. The standards publications that are developed in these committees have national acceptance and provide the basis for international harmonization in the development of new International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards.
This presentation describes the development of AIIM's EIM standards and a new effort at AIIM, a database on standards projects in a wide framework of imaging industries including capture, recording, processing, duplication, distribution, display, evaluation, and preservation. The AIIM Imagery Database will cover imaging standards being developed by many organizations in many different countries. It will contain standards publications' dates, origins, related national and international projects, status, key words, and abstracts. The ANSI Image Technology Standards Board requested that such a database be established, as did the ISO/International Electrotechnical Commission Joint Task Force on Imagery. AIIM will take on the leadership role for the database and coordinate its development with several standards developers.
Characteristics of standards for digital imagery:
Significant potential and attractiveness of digital technology as a preservation medium and access mechanism.
Productive use of digital imagery for preservation requires a reconceptualizing of preservation principles in a volatile, standardless world.
Concept of managing continuing access in the digital environment rather than focusing on the permanence of the medium and long-term archival standards developed for the analog world.
Transition period: How long and what to do?
The Role of SGML Markup in the CORE Project6
The emergence of high-speed telecommunications networks as a basic feature of the scholarly workplace is driving the demand for electronic document delivery. Three distinct categories of electronic publishing/republishing are necessary to support access demands in this emerging environment:
OCLC has experimental or product development activities in each of these areas. Among the challenges that lie ahead is the integration of these three types of information stores in coherent distributed systems.
The CORE (Chemistry Online Retrieval Experiment) Project is a model for the conversion of large text and graphics collections for which electronic typesetting files are available (category 2). The American Chemical Society has made available computer typography files dating from 1980 for its twenty journals. This collection of some 250 journal-years is being converted to an electronic format that will be accessible through several end-user applications.
The use of Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) offers the means to capture the structural richness of the original articles in a way that will support a variety of retrieval, navigation, and display options necessary to navigate effectively in very large text databases.
An SGML document consists of text that is marked up with descriptive tags that specify the function of a given element within the document. As a formal language construct, an SGML document can be parsed against a document-type definition (DTD) that unambiguously defines what elements are allowed and where in the document they can (or must) occur. This formalized map of article structure allows the user interface design to be uncoupled from the underlying database system, an important step toward interoperability. Demonstration of this separability is a part of the CORE project, wherein user interface designs born of very different philosophies will access the same database.
6 The CORE project is a collaboration among Cornell University's Mann Library, Bell Communications Research (Bellcore), the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), and OCLC.
Michael LESK The CORE Electronic Chemistry Library
A major on-line file of chemical journal literature complete with graphics is being developed to test the usability of fully electronic access to documents, as a joint project of Cornell University, the American Chemical Society, the Chemical Abstracts Service, OCLC, and Bellcore (with additional support from Sun Microsystems, Springer-Verlag, DigitaI Equipment Corporation, Sony Corporation of America, and Apple Computers). Our file contains the American Chemical Society's on-line journals, supplemented with the graphics from the paper publication. The indexing of the articles from Chemical Abstracts Documents is available in both image and text format, and several different interfaces can be used. Our goals are (1) to assess the effectiveness and acceptability of electronic access to primary journals as compared with paper, and (2) to identify the most desirable functions of the user interface to an electronic system of journals, including in particular a comparison of page-image display with ASCII display interfaces. Early experiments with chemistry students on a variety of tasks suggest that searching tasks are completed much faster with any electronic system than with paper, but that for reading all versions of the articles are roughly equivalent.
Pamela ANDRE and Judith ZIDAR
Text conversion is far more expensive and time-consuming than image capture alone. NAL's experience with optical character recognition (OCR) will be related and compared with the experience of having text rekeyed. What factors affect OCR accuracy? How accurate does full text have to be in order to be useful? How do different users react to imperfect text? These are questions that will be explored. For many, a service bureau may be a better solution than performing the work inhouse; this will also be discussed.
Copyright law protects creative works. Protection granted by the law to authors and disseminators of works includes the right to do or authorize the following: reproduce the work, prepare derivative works, distribute the work to the public, and publicly perform or display the work. In addition, copyright owners of sound recordings and computer programs have the right to control rental of their works. These rights are not unlimited; there are a number of exceptions and limitations.
An electronic environment places strains on the copyright system. Copyright owners want to control uses of their work and be paid for any use; the public wants quick and easy access at little or no cost. The marketplace is working in this area. Contracts, guidelines on electronic use, and collective licensing are in use and being refined.
Issues concerning the ability to change works without detection are more difficult to deal with. Questions concerning the integrity of the work and the status of the changed version under the copyright law are to be addressed. These are public policy issues which require informed dialogue.
Timestamp: Thursday, 04-Nov-2010 14:30:41 PDT
Retrieved: Friday, 19-Oct-2018 03:31:44 GMT