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Science and Technology Library Newsletter: July 25, 2000 Edition.
Newsletter Archive > 2000 July 25 Issue

Sci-Tech Library Newsletter

7/25/00


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  1. CHEMISTRY JOURNALS TABLE OF CONTENTS ALERTING SERVICE: One-stop-shopping for e-mail table of contents alerts …
  2. NEW BIBLIOGRAPHIC DATABASES: One for academic journals [with author contact info!] and one for general interest journals.
  3. APS MODIFIES COPYRIGHT AGREEMENTS: In an effort to clarify author's and publisher's rights in this controversial arena.
  4. NEW ELECTRONIC JOURNALS
  5. INTERESTING WEBSITES AND OTHER NEWS FROM THE INTERNET: New, different web search engine; Biological Sciences: lizards, human origins, bird migration; Polar Programs: global core ice research; Geosciences: tectonic activity map; Mathematical and Physical Sciences: Review of Particle Physics, solar radiation storm, chemistry functions, molecule viewers, math proofs; Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences: race in the US, world population.
  6. INTER ALIA: Old Richmond, Va.

  1. CHEMISTRY JOURNALS TABLE OF CONTENTS ALERTING SERVICE

    ChemWeb.com Alerting Service
    http://www.chemweb.com/article-alerts

    “It's FREE and easy to use. What could be a better way to keep you informed of what is happening in your field than using our Alerting Service. Every time the database or journal you choose is updated you will be emailed.”

    Many publishers now have alerting services that will automatically e-mail you the table of contents of their journals as they are published. But for most of these free services, you must go to the publisher's website and find the link to register for their service. However, if you are interested in journals in the broad field of chemistry, and are a member of ChemWeb (which only requires free registration) you can use a single service to sign up for e-mail alerts to the tables of contents of any of several hundred excellent titles, just by clicking on the box in front of the journal's name. One stop shopping for chemists!

  2. NEW BIBLIOGRAPHIC DATABASES

    For Articles In Scholarly and Research Journals

    Ingenta: The global research gateway
    http://www.ingenta.com/TfeLogin

    Ingenta is the global research gateway serving the online information needs of over 1.4 million visitors a month. It provides a free online search service of published content from reliable research sources and is one of the UK's top 20 Web services.

    The company was formed through a public/private partnership with the University of Bath to provide electronic distribution and marketing for the publishers of scholarly content and to develop the industry's primary portal site for the knowledge worker.

    Anyone may use the site as a guest. It offers both a basic and an enhanced search screen that allows you to search for keywords. It also allows searching by journals to bring up tables of contents of specific issues. Clicking on the “expand” button for a citation brings up more information including the abstract and author content information. A full text button is also supplied. A few journals are available free in full text for various trial periods. Others are available if your library has registered your IP address and the list of full text journals to which they are subscribed.

    Ingenta also allows you to search the Medline database.

    For General Interest Articles

    FindArticles.com
    http://www.findarticles.com/PI/index.jhtml

    This free database of “hundreds of thousands of articles from more than 300 magazines and journals, dating back to 1998” seems to have a somewhat rudimentary search engine. But, hey, the price is right! It allows searching by all magazines, magazines within a few rather limited categories, or a specific magazine. The providers seem to welcome comments and suggestions to improve their service. (I suggested they include a “science” category). The search engine does support phrase searching, which is a big plus. It allows the use of the + and - signs, but not “or”. A very few of the publications, including Scientific American, only have abstracts, but most have full text of the articles. A quick search on the word “genome” pulled 1200 hits, most of them from the business milieu, but also from journals such as Lancet. The limited coverage makes use of this database of limited utility for anything approaching a thorough search, but it is a nice utility for finding a few relevant articles on a wide variety of topics, and the inclusion of free full text is a definite advantage.

  3. APS MODIFIES COPYRIGHT AGREEMENTS

    One of the ticklish copyright issues in recent times has concerned the ability of authors to provide reprints of their articles under “fair use” considerations. Recent court cases have addressed this issue. A major scientific publisher, the American Physical Society, recently released this change in their copyright policy.

    “The American Physical Society, which publishes the Physical Reviews, Physical Review Letters, and Reviews of Modern Physics, has just revised its copyright form, and the new version is available on line at ftp://aps.org/pub/jrnls/copy_trnsfr.asc. The old version can be seen, for comparison, at ftp://aps.org/pub/jrnls/old_copyright.asc.

    The following statement summarizes our rationale for the changes:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In June 2000, APS released a new copyright-transfer agreement, giving authors more freedom in the subsequent use of their articles published in APS journals. Under the terms of the new agreement, authors are free to grant permission to others to republish their articles (not of course in other journals, but in, for example, collections of articles on a specialized subject or by a particular author). Permission of APS is needed only if the APS-formatted version (e.g., the actual printed pages from the APS journal, or the PDF or HTML file from the online journal) is used.

    Under the previous version of the copyright-transfer agreement, the permission of both APS and the authors was needed for any republication. Under the new agreement, permission from either APS or the authors is sufficient. APS and the authors can now each proceed without reference to the other in granting permission. APS decided to remove the requirement for joint agreement both to give authors more freedom regarding subsequent uses of their work, and to protect its own interests in possibly ambiguous situations in the future. In producing its own print and online journals, APS currently acts through two different composition houses and two different online hosts. APS is confident that these arrangements with vendors acting on its behalf do not constitute republication by third parties, and thus do not, even under the old copyright agreement, require permission from both APS and authors. However, it is possible to imagine more complex arrangements in the future. To avoid having to consider whether such arrangements could be interpreted as third-party ‘republication’, APS has modified the agreement to make it clear that all such arrangements are within the scope of its rights as publisher, while also making it clear that the authors have a similar freedom. The liberal provisions of the previous agreement which allow posting and updating of article by authors on eprint servers is retained in the new agreement. The American Institute of Physics is also modifying its copyright agreements with authors. It is expected that the AIP and APS agreements will be nearly identical with each other.”

  4. NEW ELECTRONIC JOURNALS

    Free Access to Three Issues of Trends in Analytical Chemistry [.pdf]
    http://analytical.chemweb.com/freetrac

    Volumes 6-8 of _Trends in Analytical Chemistry_ are available online for free to members of ChemWeb (no charge, registration required). The special June issue covers Nanoscale chemical analysis. Articles can be downloaded in .pdf format or read as HTML files. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)

    Acoustics Research Letters Online (ARLO)
    http://asa.aip.org/arlo/

    On July 1, 2000 the Acoustical Society of America will launch its second archival journal, Acoustics Research Letters Online (ARLO), the international electronic letters journal of acoustics. For the prior 15 months ARLO appeared in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, JASA (print and online), as part of the initial testing period. ARLO introduces several advances that promise to be a model for all publishers of scientific research. In particular, ARLO offers authors rapid peer review and publication of their letter-sized submissions (in as little as one month) with its unique Manuscript Management System (MMS), co-developed with the American Institute of Physics (which calls the system Sci-Edit). Authors are also invited to submit multimedia content, which is reviewed and archived, as well as color figures when appropriate.

    Readers of ARLO have a special benefit as well: ARLO is free to individual readers possessing Netscape or Internet Explorer browsers, guaranteeing maximum worldwide dissemination of authors' research results. Authors pay a manuscript fee, and libraries are asked to pay a nominal subscription fee to support the editorial process, as well as archiving, linking, search functions, and security, which are provided by our publisher, the American Institute of Physics.

    Readers, authors, reviewers, and associate editors (who are drawn largely from the JASA editorial staff) enter the ARLO system at: http://asa.aip.org/arlo. The Editor of ARLO and the Manuscript Manager can be contacted through this site to assist all who are involved in the publication process. The site will be up and working by July 1.

    Condensed Matter Physics [LaTeX]
    http://www.icmp.lviv.ua//journal/

    Founded in 1993 by the Institute for Condensed Matter Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the journal _Condensed Matter Physics_ is a peer-reviewed, English-language journal covering such aspects of condensed matter as phase transition theory, statistical mechanics of spin and spin-electron systems, metals and alloys, liquids, solutions, electrolytes, surface phenomena, and plasma physics. Selected issues of _Condensed Matter Physics_ from January 1994 to March 2000 are now available free, online in LaTeX format. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)

  5. INTERESTING WEBSITES AND OTHER NEWS FROM THE INTERNET

    Simpli.com – a web search engine that deals with words with multiple meanings
    http://www.simpli.com/

    No matter how the Web transforms and evolves, relevance will remain the central issue for search engines and users. While different engines have used any number of strategies for ranking and displaying the most likely returns to search queries, they are sometimes easily misled by words with multiple meanings. SimpliFind cuts through the potential confusion by first trying to establish the real concept of your query before it begins the search. For instance, a query for “drive” produces ten concepts, including device, computer drive, road, journey, and golf stroke, among others, allowing users searching for golf tips to receive more relevant returns than those interested in hard drives. If none of the concepts match the query you have in mind, you can enter your own to generate more precise returns. In searching for “drivers,” I found several related concepts, including utility program, software, and hardware, but I was looking for video card drivers in particular. After adding video cards to the concepts, I received much more relevant returns. After free registration, users can even customize SimpliFind, as it will store all their new concepts and search queries for future use. An excellent idea packaged in a clean and easy-to-use interface, SimpliFind certainly warrants a spot in any user's bookmarks. [MD] (From the Scout Report)

    Biological Sciences

    Lizards!
    http://www.discovery.com/exp/lizards/lizards.html

    Let's get reptilian. The American Museum of Natural History hosts a quirky, not-your-average-boring-nature-documentary site that features chapter titles like “Lizards Without Dads” and “Squirting Blood.” The latter section is devoted to some of the more popular defensive techniques found among our fork-tongued friends, including the ever-popular Disappearing Act, the tenacious Too Tough To Swallow routine, and the classic When The Going Gets Tough, Jump In The Water move. The Lizards of the World multimedia tour has a great description of the Frillneck Lizard's trademark hood: “A spectacular anatomical device that, when propped open via muscles and cartilaginous spokes, unfurls like a giant beach umbrella.” (From Yahoo's Picks of the Week)

    Human Origins Program – exploring the beginnings of humanity
    http://www.mnh.si.edu/anthro/humanorigins/

    As yet this site from the Smithsonian is incomplete, but it still has lots to offer. If you have the QuickTime plug in, you will find fossil casts in the National Collection brought to life. Clicking on the links will open a new browser window, in which you can rotate the skull by clicking and holding over the image. A human family tree is provided, which will eventually have additional information on each of the branches displayed. Hopefully, this attractive site will grow and expand with time!

    Wild Wings Heading North
    http://north.audubon.org/

    An informative and fun site aimed primarily at school students. 10 migrating Canada Geese were tagged with satellite radios by the US Geological Survey in 1996 to monitor their routes and progress. The surfer is encouraged to choose a favorite goose and follow its progress from Mexico to the Northwest Territories. The site discusses migration, describes 'fascinating places in Alberta and Saskatchewan' and gives a concluding report of the project. (From New Scientist Planet Science)

    Polar Programs

    Global Ice Core Research
    http://id.water.usgs.gov/projects/icecore/

    This informative site from the US Geological Survey (USGS) covers the latest ice-core research projects from around the world, including sites in Nepal, Norway, and Kyrghyzstan. Authored by researchers at the Global Ice core Research Office, the site contains an overview of the mid-latitude and polar glaciers, isotopic methods in glacial research, and applications to paleoclimatology. Links to maps, figures, and in some cases, full-text articles (HTML) about specific glaciers are available, and the site is peppered with color photos of glacial environments. Links to biographies of the scientists involved in the project, contacts, and other snow and ice sites are also listed. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)

    Geosciences

    Digital Tectonic Activity Map [.ps, .tiff]
    http://denali.gsfc.nasa.gov/dtam/

    NASA explains that their new site: “The Digital Tectonic Activity Map (DTAM) is a new visualization tool for both researcher and educator alike to better understand tectonic activity of our planet for the past 1 million years. DTAM is a Geographical Information System (GIS) that displays a realistic synoptic view of present global tectonism by filling in the cartographic gap between conventional geological maps and plate reconstruction maps.” Maps displaying seismic, interferometry (VLBA), digital tectonic activity (DTA), and global tectonic activity (GTA) can be downloaded in postscript, .gif, or .tiff formats. The DTAM team is under the direction of NASA's Goddard Space Center. This site is an extraordinary resource; for the first time these maps are available in digital format, making current seismic data easily accessible. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)

    Mathematical and Physical Sciences

    Review of Particle Physics– PDG Berkeley
    http://pdg.lbl.gov/

    The PARTICLE DATA GROUP announces the Web edition of the Year-2000 Review of Particle Physics is now available! There are 2000 new measurements from 610 new papers, and also many new and updated reviews.

    Palm Computing: The Particle Data Group provides some of our databases and information in computer readable form, including in the Palm computing environment. Physical constants, astrophysical constants and particle properties are available in a beta-version Palm program based on 1998 data and will soon be updated for the 2000 Edition of the Review. See http://pdg.lbl.gov/.

    See the Particle Adventure (for students and the public) at: http://ParticleAdventure.org/

    This site is funded by NSF.

    Solar Radiation Storm

    1. “Biggest Solar Storm in Six Years Strikes Earth”
    http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/solar_storm_000713.html

    2. “Space Radiation Storm”
    http://www.spacescience.com/headlines/y2000/ast14jul_2m.htm

    3. SpaceWeather.com
    http://www.spaceweather.com/

    4. Solar Max 2000 – Exploratorium
    http://www.exploratorium.edu/solarmax/

    5. Solar-Terrestrial Physics
    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/stp.html

    6. “Fire in the Sky” – _Scientific American_ article
    http://www.sciam.com/2000/0700issue/0700scicit4.html

    7. Stanford Solar Center
    http://solar-center.Stanford.EDU/

    8. Solar Web Guide
    http://www.lmsal.com/SXT/html2/list.html

    9. Solar Data Analysis Center (SDAC) [.mpeg]
    http://umbra.nascom.nasa.gov/

    10. Sunspot Cycle Predictions
    http://science.nasa.gov/ssl/PAD/SOLAR/predict.htm

    11. NASA: Space Environment Center
    http://www.sec.noaa.gov/

    This past week has offered much excitement for space weather scientists and enthusiasts, alike. On Friday July 14, a major flare shot off the surface of the sun, pummeling Earth with a massive solar-radiation storm that interfered with satellite and radio communications and delayed a Russian space launch. The flare was one of the most powerful of the current eleven-year solar cycle (and the biggest solar radiation event since 1989) and was followed by a coronal mass ejection – “a blast of billions of tons of electrically charged atomic particles and magnetic energy hurled in the Earth's direction at 3 million miles an hour” (1). When a very powerful coronal mass ejection hits the Earth's magnetosphere, a shock wave can compress the magnetosphere and unleash a geomagnetic storm – causing interference with electric power transmission and triggering beautiful aurorae. Friday's flare was one of three storms last week, and the biggest since a small solar storm made the news in June (see the June 9, 2000 _Scout Report_ for additional resources). Although this weekend's storms have diminished, more activity is anticipated as the sunspot group that is producing flares (region 9077) will continue to face the earth for another week.

    The first resource, from SPACE.com, describes the recent solar storm and offers images and background information (1). NASA's news release also provides text and several spectacular images describing how and why solar flares occur (2). For further information on space weather, this site from SpaceWeather.com offers current news, images, and links to related resources (3). The Solar Max 2000 site from the Exploratorium (4) (previously featured in the February 18, 2000 _Scout Report_) offers further information and images of the sun, with numerous links to additional sites. For those looking for more technical information, the following sites should be of interest, especially to researchers: the Solar-Terrestrial Physics site from the National Geophysical Data Center (5), offering “data pertaining to solar activity, the ionosphere, and geomagnetic variations”; a June 20, 2000 _Scientific American_ article on solar flares (6); Stanford University's Solar Center homepage (7); and the Solar Web Guide (8), which contains a collection of links on solar physics in conjunction with the Yohkoh Observatory (Japan). Further scientific resources, current images, and movies (.mpeg) may be found at the Solar Data Analysis Center (SDAC), maintained by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (9), and sunspot cycle predictions are given at this site from the Marshall Space Flight Center (10). Finally, NASA's Space Environment Center (11) is a reliable source for space weather alerts, warnings, and forecasts. [LXP] (From the Scout Report)

    Chemistry Functions
    http://www.stanford.edu/~glassman/chem/index.htm

    Perform molar conversions, balance equations, study an interactive periodic table, all with the click of a mouse at Stanford University's Chemistry Function site. An ideal resource for undergraduate chemistry students, this site features a number of straightforward pages that allow users to perform chemistry tasks. For instance, users can perform molar conversions by entering enter grams, moles, or particles and use a lookup table for atomic weights. Another page allows users to enter an unbalanced equation (instructions provided), push the “Balance” button and see their equation solved. Cooperatively authored by professors at Stanford, the Chemistry Functions site is an excellent study aid. Note that some features are still under construction. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)

    The Open Science Project: Molecule Viewers and Editors
    http://www.openscience.org/links/Chemistry/Molecule_Viewers_and_Editors/

    This metasite is an excellent resource for chemical researchers and educators. It provides links to three free software programs: JchemPaint, Jmol, and OpenChem. JchemPaint, developed at the Max Planck Institute of Chemical Ecology, is a Java program for drawing 2-D chemical structures. Jmol, primarily authored by J. Daniel Gezelter of Notre Dame University, is a Java/Swing program for viewing molecular visualization and measurement. OpenChem, a large collaborative effort, is a Python-based program for investigating nanotechnology, machines and molecular structures. All three of the programs are still under construction, but each page contains helpful troubleshooting information and discussion lists. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)

    Metamath Proof Explorer
    http://www1.shore.net/~ndm/java/mmexplorer1/mmset.html

    Theoretical mathematicians, behold the wondrous Metamath Proof Explorer! This site consists of interconnected Webpages containing over 3,000 completely worked out proofs in logic and set theory. “Each proof is pieced together with razor-sharp precision using simple rules, allowing almost anyone with a technical bent to follow it without difficulty. With point-and-click links, every step can be drilled down deeper and deeper into the labyrinth until axioms will ultimately be found at the bottom. Armchair mathematicians can spend literally days exploring the complex tangle of logic leading, say, from 2 + 2 = 4 back to the axioms of set theory,” says the site's coordinator, MIT alumnus Norman Megill. The site makes available basic user instructions, lists of axioms, starting point suggestions, a complete list of theorems (520K), and even a game using the Proof Explorer. This site is ideal as a diversion for mathematicians or for use in advanced, university-level mathematics classes. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)

    Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences

    How Race is Lived in America: “Guarding the Borders of the Hip-Hop Nation” – _New York Times_ Special Series
    http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/race/070600kleinfield-hiphop.html

    Last Thursday, _The New York Times_ published in print and online its twelfth installment in an ongoing report on race relations in America. This latest installment examines the culture of hip-hop through the story of one particularly sincere and knowledgeable white aficionado who has gained an unusual measure of credibility with many black performers and critics. The story explores the tensions inherent in a music created by African-Americans primarily for African-Americans, but which is financed by white-owned corporations and, some argue, co-opted by white, middle-class young men. Like the other eleven installments – which deal with race in such areas as religion, the army, politics, education, childhood friendship, family, and more – the article is unusual for its nuanced and affecting presentation of racial tensions in America. [DC] (From the Scout Report)

    2000 World Population Data Sheet
    http://www.prb.org/pubs/wpds2000/

    Posted in late June by the Population Reference Bureau (see the November 17, 1998 Scout Report for Social Sciences), this publication “contains the latest population estimates, projections, and other key indicators for all geographic entities with populations of 150,000 or more and all members of the United Nations.” The data are broken down by standard variables such as birth and death rates, infant mortality and total fertility rates, life expectancy, percentages of populations with HIV/AIDS, population of rural vs. urban, increases in population rate, “doubling time” at current rate, projected population totals for 2010 and 2025, and more. These variables may also be examined by region. [DC] (From the Scout Report)

    Edupage

    The following items are from Edupage. To subscribe to Edupage: send mail to: listproc@educom.unc.edu with the message: subscribe edupage Anonymous (if your name is Anonymous; otherwise, substitute your own name). To unsubscribe send a message to: listproc@educom.unc.edu with the message: unsubscribe edupage. (If you have subscription problems, send mail to: manager@educom.unc.edu.)

    RESEARCHERS TEST IPV6 CAPABILITIES ON INTERNET 2
    The Internet2 Abilene backbone is serving as a testing ground for IPv6, the next-generation Internet protocol that will eventually replace the existing IPv4. Abilene, which connects over 100 universities and runs at 2.4 Gbps, is a joint effort of the University Corp. for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID), Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks, and Qwest. Researchers are now using Abilene to test the capabilities and shortcomings of IPv6, which experts say will provide more IP addresses, increased security, and improved quality of service compared to IPv4. To test the new protocol, UCAID has established four nodes that convert network addresses between IPv4 and IPv6. Abilene's IPv6 service will first be available to the Great Plains Network, an Internet2 regional research network.
    (Government Computer News, 10 July 2000 via Edupage)

    TINY BUBBLES
    Researchers in the telecom industry are working to create all-optical switches that would allow data to move much more rapidly over networks by eliminating the need to convert optical signals into electrical signals. Today's switches require conversion every time a signal changes paths on a fiber-optic route or circumvents damaged fibers, causing a significant loss of speed. As companies begin looking for ways to bypass the inconvenience of converting signals, the market for all-optical technologies could reach more than $10 billion by 2004, according to Pioneer Consulting. Agilent Technologies recently announced its Agilent Photonic Switching Platform, which sidesteps conversion by using small bubbles to reflect optical signals onto a new path. Meanwhile, Xros is creating an all-optical platform that uses mirrors rather than bubbles. Xros' X-1000 platform uses gold-coated silicon mirrors that move in response to electrical voltages to reflect optical signals onto a new path. Many other companies, including all the major telecom firms, are also working on all-optical platforms, some of which use liquid crystals as an alternative to bubbles or mirrors.
    (Business 2.0, 25 July 2000 via Edupage)

    INTERNET CHANGING EXPECTATIONS OF LIBRARY REFERENCE LINES
    The Internet has increased library patrons' hunger for information as well as their reliance on reference librarians – contrary to librarians' original expectation that the medium would supplant their job duties. Library patrons expect to be able to find all the answers to their questions on the Internet, and knowing that librarians have access to the Internet, they are calling librarians more than ever in their quest for information. Betsy Hoage, manager of InfoNow, a reference service of the Los Angeles Public Library, says patrons who are confused by Internet searches often turn to librarians for help. This trend has the New York Public Library on the lookout for librarians with Internet training.
    (Associated Press, 7 July 2000 via Edupage)

    FED SITES BOW TO PRIVACY Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) has added to an appropriations bill an amendment that places restrictions on the privacy practices of federal Web sites. The amendment was approved by a House vote late last week. Government agencies that receive funding from the appropriations bill will have 90 days to inform Congress about their privacy practices, according to the terms of the amendment. “If the federal government is collecting information about our personal habits we have a right to know about it so we can stop any inappropriate invasion of privacy,” Inslee said. The amendment covers agency's data collection efforts, as well as any third-party arrangements pertaining to the collection, review, or procurement of lists of personally identifiable data.
    (Wired News, 21 July 2000 via Edupage)

    AT JUST 3 YEARS OLD, E-RATE PROGRAM A SUCCESS
    The federal government's E-rate program is fulfilling its aims, helping to close the digital divide, and improving education standards across the country, according to a new report from the Education and Library Networks Coalition (EdLiNC). The E-rate program provides schools and libraries with $2.25 billion in annual funding for affordable access to the Internet. The program has already helped wire some 46 U.S. communities and has encouraged parents in these communities to become more technologically adept, according to the report. “The report released today by EDLiNC is another confirmation that the E-rate program is a very powerful tool in leveling the playing field for everyone in our country, regardless of economic or geographic background,” said FCC Chairman William Kennard.
    (Newsbytes, 2000 July 10 via Edupage)

    PROFESSORS PROFIT FROM PRACTICING WHAT THEY TEACH
    An increasing number of university professors are finding lucrative business opportunities outside of the classroom. These professors, especially from the field of computer science, are taking positions with startup companies or are founding their own businesses. Universities such as Stanford, UCLA, and MIT, for example, have seen as much as 25 percent of their computer-science faculty exploring some kind of outside business pursuit. Many students and university officials worry that teaching will suffer as a result. In several cases, professors have in effect abandoned their courses for their business interests, preparing lectures hastily and neglecting students' exams. However, for some students their professors' successes have translated into unprecedented job opportunities. Several universities have expressed concern about professors who lure graduate students away from their studies and into the business world, and in a few cases about successful alumni who have hired their former professors. But many universities concede that there is little they can do to prevent professors from working on the side, considering the appeal of multimillion-dollar stock options to professors, whose average salary is $56,000.
    (Los Angeles Times, 16 July 2000 via Edupage)

    WHEN PROFESSORS CREATE SOFTWARE, DO THEY OWN IT, OR DO THEIR COLLEGES?
    As professors in a wide range of fields increasingly write commercially viable software, the issue of whether the programs belong to professors or to their colleges is heating up. If software is viewed as traditional scholarly publishing, then professors own the work. However, the university has ownership claims if the program is seen as an invention, or a work for hire. Copyright laws hold that an employer owns a creative work that falls within the bounds of the worker's employment – for example, a program that helps a professor grade papers, legal experts say. In addition, universities could claim ownership if a professor creates the software as an assigned project or uses university resources, including grants awarded by the school. While colleges nearly always claim ownership over patented software, most software is not patented, because products have to be innovative and not obvious to receive patents, says patent and copyright attorney Ray K. Harris. However, software is protected by copyrights, and scholars have traditionally held copyrights to their academic works. Despite this precedent, universities are increasingly writing policies that give them ownership of professors' software, as the potential to capitalize on these programs grows, Harris says.
    (Chronicle of Higher Education, 21 July 2000 via Edupage)

    HOME SCHOOLING'S NET EFFECT
    Online courses are providing new opportunities for the rising number of children in the U.S. who attend home school. In less than 10 years, the number of home-schooled students in the U.S. has more than tripled to 1.7 million, as parents seek more personalized curricula for their children and grow increasingly concerned about the safety of public schools. However, many parents feel unqualified to teach certain subjects, especially to older students, and the Internet is helping to fill the educational gap. Some home-schooled students use online courses only as a supplement to their regular studies, while others enroll in an online school such as the Christa McAuliffe Academy, the Laurel Spring School, or Child U. Online schools communicate with parents through chat rooms and e-mail, and help students socialize through pen-pal programs and extracurricular activities. With critics citing concerns that home-schooled students are not properly socialized, online high schools are responding by organizing field trips and even holding proms.
    (Washington Post, 16 July 2000 via Edupage)

    HIGH-TECH EXECUTIVES URGE ACTION ON WORLD'S DIGITAL DIVIDE
    Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori used Wednesday's meeting of the World Economic Forum to call attention to the “crucial matter” of the growing digital divide between the world's industrial and developing nations. Mori will address the issue further at another high-profile meeting later in the week. The Group of Eight industrialized countries will hold its annual summit meeting Friday in Okinawa, Japan. Mori will be on hand to announce the details of a $15 billion commitment by the Japanese government to technology initiatives in the developing world. A Japanese executive said Japan hopes other countries will follow its lead by launching similar initiatives. A World Economic Forum task force yesterday announced several technology proposals, including the creation of the Global Digital Opportunity Corps, an army of volunteers fashioned after the Peace Corps. The task force also recommended proposals regarding telecom and Internet deregulation and called for the formation of local tech community centers.
    (New York Times, 20 July 2000 via Edupage)

  6. INTER ALIA

    Rarely Seen Richmond
    http://www.library.vcu.edu/jbc/speccoll/post/

    Early twentieth-century Richmond, Virginia, looked quite different to the present-day city. This online exhibit of more than 600 postcards documents many of the buildings and structures that no longer exist or have been substantially changed. City Hall and Broad Street Methodist Church provide a glimpse of the city's beautiful architecture at the turn of the century. Take a stroll down Broad Street or Main Street, check out Murphy's Hotel, or get a bird's eye view of this wonderful city.


All items from the Scout Report are copyright Susan Calcari, 1994-2000. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the Scout Report provided the copyright notice and this paragraph is preserved on all copies. The InterNIC provides information about the Internet to the US research and education community under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation: NCR-9218742. The Government has certain rights in this material.

Blue Web'n is a searchable library of Blue-Ribbon Web sites categorized by grade level, content area, and type. Visit Blue Web'n online at http://www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/bluewebn/.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this newsletter are those of the participants (authors), and do not necessarily represent the official views, opinions, or policy of the National Science Foundation.

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