Computer Systems Laboratory Colloquium

4:15PM, Wednesday, June 2, 1999
NEC Auditorium, Gates Computer Science Building B03

Making Web Publishing Irreversible

David S.H. Rosenthal & Vicky Reich
Stanford University Highwire Press
About the talk:
Stanford's Highwire Press publishes the Web editions of 127 of the most significant scientific journals, mostly in biochemistry and medicine. The Web makes the journals far more useful, with services such as links to cited and citing papers, searches, e-mail notification of new citations and papers by selected authors, and so on. Librarians, who subscribe to these journals on behalf of their readers, insist on paper because they have no way of assuring continued access to the Web editions for the decades to come. Digital library research has yet to produce practical solutions for preserving bits over library timescales. And in this case preserving the bits isn't enough; the service based on the bits must be preserved.

Highwire is working to provide librarians with a cheap and effective way to preserve access to Web journals they have purchased. The talk will demonstrate the problem and discuss the design of this proposed solution. It is an attempt to model for the Web the way that libraries act to preserve information on paper over very long periods of time. It is a distributed, robust Web cache/archive with no hierarchy, no encryption, and no configuration data. Above all it is designed to operate extremely slowly.

About the speaker:

David S. H. Rosenthal is currently working at Stanford's Highwire Press, taking a break after two startups in six years. The first was Nvidia, which builds the best graphics chips in the industry, where he worked on I/O architecture. The second was Vitria Technology, which is a leading supplier of enterprise integration technology, where he worked on reliable multicast protocols and the problems of testing enterprise-scale distributed systems. Before that he was for many years a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems working on window systems and the operating system.

Vicky Reich is Assistant Director of Highwire Press, a librarian and one of the team that originally got Stanford into the business of publishing the Web editions of scientific journals. Before joining Stanford she worked at the Library of Congress.

Contact information:

David S.H. Rosenthal