Sci-Tech Library Newsletter


Newsletter archive > 1999 November 15 Issue

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This newsletter is available to the public at the following locations:

  1. NSF LIBRARY NEWSLETTER ON THE WWW: Stanford University is now hosting a non-proprietary version.
  2. FREE TRIAL OF AQUATIC DATABASE: Until the end of the month.
  4. SCIENCE CITATION INDEX, TOO SLOW?: Maybe you are using the wrong server …
  5. TIP OF THE WEEK: THE NEW ALTA VISTA: One of my favorite web search engines has morphed. Check here for a brief roundup of the changes
  6. NEW E-JOURNALS: Lots in earth sciences this time, also life sciences and education.
  7. INTERESTING WEBSITES, ETC.: Y2K and your home PC, citing electronic documents; Biological Sciences: Color, Annelids, a Bestiary, the Amazon, New fossils; Geosciences: Natural disasters, Antarctica, Mars in the Arctic, Polar photos; Mathematical and Physical Sciences: Curves, Chaos, Polymers; Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences: Time series, Great economic events, Papyrii, Native American languages; Education and Human Resources: Information technology, and more!

    Thanks to the generous folks at Stanford University, a version of the NSF Library Newsletter can now be found on the web, free access to all! Point your browsers to:

    I am posting this version of the newsletter as a private citizen, not in my capacity as librarian of NSF, and it is called “The SciTech Library Newsletter”.

    How does this differ from the NSF Library Newsletter?

    This will be identical to the version of the NSF Library Newsletter that has previously been available by e-mail to folks outside of NSF. It differs from the official version only in that any proprietary information (i.e. passwords, etc.) have been excised, and any information that is only of interest to NSF (i.e., system downtime notices, workshops available onsite, etc.) have also been excised.

    What subjects are covered?

    Any subject of interest to people in the fields of the sciences, the social sciences, engineering, computer research, or science education.

    Will I continue to receive the e-mail version?

    I will continue to send the e-mail version to my current mailing list unless any individual asks to be removed. I also maintain a mailing list with the table of contents. If you would prefer to receive the table of contents instead of the full newsletter, please request to be moved to that mailing list. Send your requests to:

    I wish to thank all the many generous people and institutions that offered to host this newsletter!


    “Search over 1.7 million Aquatic & Marine References! Free through November 30, 1999!

    Click on the: ‘Click here to register for FREE access to:… ’ link at the top of the NISC Home Page.

    Aquatic Biology, Aquaculture & Fisheries Resources and Marine, Oceanographic & Freshwater Resources provide access to over 25 databases including ASFA, FISHLIT, databases of Research Institutes around the world, and relevant subsets of CAB Abstracts, AGRIS, MEDLINE and much more. This collection offers the most comprehensive coverage of fisheries, aquaculture, marine, oceanographic and freshwater topics anywhere. These resources are distinguished from other Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracting services by the following:

    1. Greater coverage including pre-1978 publications
    2. Grey Literature Coverage not available from other sources
    3. Global Coverage including southern hemisphere
    4. Enhanced taxonomic and geographic indexing

    The rich content of Aquatic Biology, Aquaculture & Fisheries Resources and Marine, Oceanographic & Freshwater Resources combined with the powerful search functionality of BiblioLine can’t be matched.

    NISC welcomes your review and encourages you to search and compare results with other aquatic and marine resources. For a comparative review of bibliographic information resources available for fisheries, marine and aquatic sciences, please visit:

    For more information about Aquatic Biology, Aquaculture & Fisheries Resources and Marine, Oceanographic & Freshwater Resources read the product details at: and

    Please contact Debbie Durr by phone (+1 410-243-0797) or Email with any questions.”


    Encyclopedia Britannica has been available on the Internet for some time, but with a pretty hefty fee attached. The company recently announced it would now open the site for free. However, they received such a flood of response that their servers were unable to handle the volume. Wait a few weeks and see if the problem is solved, but I am adding the link to the NSF Library Webpage just in case it starts working again …


    If you use the AltaVista search engine frequently, as I do, you may have noticed that it morphed a week or so ago. The changes are more than just cosmetic!

    I like AltaVista for several reasons.

    One is the freedom that its rather bald search screen (advanced search) gives me to create as elaborate a boolean search statement as my heart desires. The down side of this, of course, is that you have to know what you are doing — but the excellent help screens presented by AltaVista make this possible with a minimum of effort.

    Additionally, AltaVista gives me some options that other search engines don’t, such as the “near” operator, which I find extremely useful

    Another reason is that various tests have consistently shown that AltaVista is tops for uncovering sci-tech information on the web.

    Don’t get the idea I use AltaVista exclusively — I don’t, and neither should anyone. Every search engine is different and has its strengths and weaknesses, and they all cover some different portions of the Web. I would suggest that you need to be comfortable with at least three general search engines and use them all frequently.

    Danny Sullivan’s Search Engine Report for November 1, 1999 — Number 36 gives a terrific overview of the new features, from which I copying these highlights. For more information, I encourage you to visit Danny’s wonderful website.

    “In my opinion, the most important change has been the introduction of results clustering. This means that only one page per web site appears in the top results.”

    “AltaVista also says it has expanded its web index from 150 million to 250 million web pages, which should give it more comprehensive coverage. Indeed, some testing I did comparing it against size leaders Northern Light and FAST Search showed AltaVista holding its own or exceeding them.”

    “If you look below each numbered listing, and you may see up to three links. ‘Translate’ lets you translate the page into another language. ‘More pages from this site’ lets you uncluster results for that particular web site. ‘Company factsheet’ takes you to detailed information about the company which owns the web site.”

    “The ‘Images, Audio & Video’ tab is much more useful, giving you access to AltaVista’s exceptional multimedia search. In particular, it displays thumbnail images from the Corbis and Getty picture collections, along with images and multimedia found by crawling the web.’

    “ ‘News’ is new — it lets you tap into top stories from major news sources from between 6 hours to 14 days old.”


    The newsletter enables you to stay in touch with news and views from Science/Nature for Kids.

    To add a new email address or remove your email address from this newsletter, visit: and click the subscribe or unsubscribe button. This newsletter comes courtesy of, the Net’s only network of sites led by expert human guides.

    Education Statistics Quarterly
    Each issue includes short publications, summaries, and descriptions that cover all NCES publications and data products released during a three-month period.

    Published by the National Center for Education Statistics. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) fulfills a congressional mandate to collect and report “statistics and information showing the condition and progress of education in the United States and other nations in order to promote and accelerate the improvement of American education.”

    At NCES, we are convinced that good data lead to good decisions about education. The Education Statistics Quarterly is part of an overall effort to make reliable data more accessible. Goals include providing a quick way to identify information of interest; review key facts, figures, and summary information; and obtain references to detailed data and analyses.

    The Quarterly gives a comprehensive overview of work done across all parts of NCES. Each issue includes short publications, summaries, and descriptions that cover all NCES publications and data products released during a 3-month period. To further stimulate ideas and discussion, each issue also incorporates a message from NCES on an important and timely subject in education statistics; and a featured topic of enduring importance with invited commentary.

    A complete annual index of NCES publications will appear in the Winter issue (published each January). Publications in the Quarterly have been technically reviewed for content and statistical accuracy.

    A partial electronic version of the print magazine of the same title. Converge offers workable solutions regarding education and technology. Free subscriptions to the print magazine are available.

    Journal of Online Education (JOE)
    Subject Matter: We accept anything related to teaching or researching online or in cyber-enhanced classes anywhere in the world; or how traditional knowledge and/or conventional cognitive processing are enhanced, destroyed and transformed by the medium of cyberspace. Poetry, graphics, and other creative writing can touch on any of the themes listed below and need not be didactic nor pedagogical.

    Four Online Journals from The Entomological Society of America

    1. Annals of The Entomological Society of America [.pdf]
    2. Environmental Entomology [.pdf]
    3. Journal of Economic Entomology [.pdf]
    4. Journal of Medical Entomology [.pdf]

    The Entomological Society of America (ESA) is providing full access to the 1999 issues of four online journals for free through December 1999. Online journals include abstracts and the full text of Annals of The Entomological Society of America, Environmental Entomology, Journal of Economic Entomologycite, and Journal of Medical Entomology. To access each online journal, users must complete a simple registration form. Note that five issues for 1999 are currently available for each journal, either for viewing online or for downloading (.pdf format). New issues are posted as soon as the printed version is available. [LXP] (From the Scout Report)

    Three Geology Journals [.pdf]

    1. Journal of the Geological Society
    2. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology
    3. Petroleum Geoscience

    Ahead of the intended January 2000 target date, three Geological Society journals are now available online. Hosted by Ingenta Journals, the Journal of the Geological Society, the Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, and Petroleum Geoscience are all available free of charge to everyone “until sometime in 2000.” All 1999 volumes for each journal are online. New issues are being added as they are released, and the Geological Society hopes to add 1997 and 1998 issues soon. To access each journal, users may either log on with the user name and password _guest_, or if they have subscription rights (through an institution or otherwise), they can click on the direct access button at the bottom of the screen. Articles are available as .pdf files, and Ingenta has a detailed help screen for those who have trouble downloading or viewing them. [KR]

    Five Newly Online Journals from University of Chicago Press
    The University of Chicago Press Journals Division

    1. The American Naturalist
    2. The Journal of Infectious Diseases
    3. The Journal of Geology
    4. International Journal of Plant Sciences
    5. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology (formerly Physiological Zoology)

    The University of Chicago Press has recently placed online five scientific journals. While subscription fees will apply once online subscriptions are “activated” (no date specified), until then, the full text and abstracts of current issues of these important journals may be browsed free of charge. Online coverage for The American Naturalist currently includes tables of contents since 1992 and full-text (with figures) since January 1999 (Vol 153, No 1). The Journal of Infectious Diseases currently contains online coverage in the form of tables of contents since 1996 and full-text since November 1998 (Vol 178, No 5). The Journal of Geology’s online coverage currently includes tables of contents since 1996 and full-text since January 1999 (Vol 107, No 1). Online coverage for the International Journal of Plant Sciences currently includes tables of contents since 1996 and full-text since November 1998 (Vol 159, No 6). Finally, Physiological and Biochemical Zoology (formerly Physiological Zoology) includes online tables of contents since 1996 and full-text since January/ February 1999 (Vol 72, No 1). For those interested in eventually subscribing to these online journals, this undefined “trial” period may be of particular use. [LXP] (From the Scout Report)

    Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology
    Username: geosoc
    Password: socmem99

    You can now access and download papers from the Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology for free. The Journal is available as a PDF file which can be read with the freely available Adobe Acrobat Reader. Within Acrobat Reader the print option will allow you to produce a facsimile hard copy of the original article. All published issues for 1999 are on line and 1997 & 1998 will be on line soon. The Publications Board of the Geological Society (UK) has decided to make the on-line journal free to everyone (within and external to the Society) until sometime in 2000.

    G3 (Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems)
    Published by the Geochemical Society and the American Geophysical Union.

    G3 is dedicated to the timely publication of research that bears on our understanding of Earth as a dynamic physicochemical system. It endeavors to publish papers of broad interest in the Earth sciences. Contributions that report on observational, experimental, and theoretical investigations pertinent to the understanding of that system are welcomed.

    G3 publishes research in geochemistry and geophysics that crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries and approaches the Earth as a system.

    G3 offers Earth scientists the opportunity to benefit from the innovations and advantages of web-based electronic publication. These include electronic dissemination of data sets, many graphic formats (including color, movies, virtual reality images), sound, mathematical models, etc. Initially access will be offered free to both individuals and institutions. The journal has not yet begun publication, but you can register for e-mail updates.

    G3 is guided by a distinguished Editorial Team.

    Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy
    The site includes the table of contents of past issues, including abstracts, the full text of one article from each issue, and the full text of all major wildlife treaty regimes and soft law documents cited in articles or in the Journal’s documents section. A “wildlife resources on the Net” section will soon be posted, with more than 5000 links. Please sign up on the site’s announcement list to receive notice of future additions to the site. Sample copies can also be ordered from the site.


    The Year 2000 Challenge: A Guide for Home Computers
    Microsoft’s user-friendly site has sections on Exploring Your PC, which explains how Y2K affects each of the three parts of a PC; and Taking Action, which tells you what you need to do to ensure that all parts of your computers are Y2K ready. Includes links to major computer manufacturers and to Microsoft Product Analyzer, “a tool to help assess the readiness of your computer system by conducting an inventory of Microsoft software installed on your PC.” — rs (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    Online! Citation Styles
    This Internet version of Online!: A Reference Guide to Using Internet Resources from Bedford/St. Martin’s Press is for any student, professional, or scholar who has ever been frustrated by the inadequate and/or out-of-date information provided in most standard handbooks and style guides regarding citing online materials. With chapters five through eight of the printed text posted and updated regularly, Online! is one of the most recent and comprehensive guides to online documentation available on the Web. The Website shows how to document ten different categories of online sources in APA, MLA, CBE, and Chicago styles, including Websites; email, discussion, electronic mailing list, and news group postings; Telnet sites; and linkage data. The site provides general principles and specific examples for each type of citation. Additional links for other styles and guides are also provided. Finally, unlike some online guides to documentation, the site is attractive and easily navigable. [DC] (From the Scout Report)

    Biological Sciences

    Seeing Color
    This site on color vision is designed for K–12 students and includes a sample color blindness test using two of the Ishihara charts along with brief explanations about color blindness. Included are links to Sir Isaac Newton and a chart on common animals and the colors they see. Developed by the Research Topics section of the Ask a Biologist site at Arizona State University. (From Blue Web’n)

    Annelid Resources
    ANNELIDA (mailing list)
    Polychaetologist Dr. Geoff Read of New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) provides this stupendous resource on Annelid worms. Full of content-rich, research-driven information, this resource serves as a major hub for experts and students interested in annelids. In the Research section, users will find current information on Polychaetes, Oligochaetes/leeches, and annelid-allies, in addition to useful software and “some miscellaneous taxonomy links.” The Taxonomy section covers background information including geographical faunal lists of Annelid species as well as Annelida phylogenies, with a link to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) for those wishing to query Annelida taxonomic hierarchy. The Field Trips section provides external links to sites from Polychaete researchers and research labs, in addition to a series of interesting (and less-scientific) links to field sites featuring curious fauna, such as Vent and Seep fauna. In addition, Dr. Read maintains and moderates the ANNELIDA mailing list, the only annelid-related list, archived and searchable at the URL above. [LXP] (From the Scout Report)

    Aberdeen Bestiary Project
    “A Bestiary is a collection of short descriptions about all sorts of animals, real and imaginary, birds and even rocks, accompanied by a moralizing explanation.” The Aberdeen Bestiary appeared in its present form in twelfth century England and is based on “The Physiologus, [which] was written in Greek, probably in Alexandria, in about the fourth century. It consisted of 48 or 49 chapters about beasts, birds and stones used as a vehicle for explaining Christian dogma.” The full-text of this bestiary, with illustrations, original transcription, modern English translation, and commentary is reproduced on the site. Includes a bibliography. From the Aberdeen University Library. — de (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    Amazon Interactive
    This is a great site to get school students (and adults) thinking about the ecological problems faced by the indigenous Quichua people in the Ecuadorian Amazon. All sections are interactive and the scene is set gradually by asking the visitor to locate the rainforest on a world map and then compares precipitation in the Amazon with areas in the US. It discusses the problems of making a living in the forest while conserving the habitat. The visitor is encouraged to work out best-possible crop rotation cycles and juggle coffee, cacao and maize production with 3 strategies in mind - high income, conservation alone and balancing conservation with agriculture. Finally ecotourism is given an airing and we’re let loose running an ecotourism project on the River Napo. Well laid out, with photos of Quichua people, crops and animals and plenty of material for discussion. A great teaching tool. (From New Scientist Planet Science)

    Unearthing Important Fossils

    1. The Oldest Fish in the World
    2. Field Museum Scientists Discover what appear to be World’s Oldest Dinosaur Fossils
    3. Okla. Bones Point to Huge Dinosaur
    4. The Academy Unveils Newly Discovered Dinosaur Fossils
    5. Department of Vertebrate Paleontology
    6. Department of Paleobiology
    7. Vertebrate Paleontology
    8. Early Dinosaur Studies in North America
    9. Dinosaurs: The Inside Track (May 13, 1999) — Nature
    10. Paleontological Resources: Links

    Over the past several weeks, a flurry of dinosaur and other fossil discoveries have reached the mainstream news. From the two 530-million-year-old fish-like creatures that could be the earliest known vertebrates found in China, to the bones of two dinosaurs in Madagascar that may be the oldest dinosaurs ever found, to the “60-ton giraffe-like creature” (3) found in Oklahoma (called Sauroposeidon proteles, or “thunder lizard”), paleontologists are immersed in discovery. The significance of the first discovery is triggering excitement among paleontologists, worldwide. In particular, the discovery of the two “fish-like” fossils in China (to be published in this week’s journal Nature) indicates that fish (i.e., vertebrates) evolved much earlier than previously thought and that “the rates of evolution in the oceans during the Cambrian period must have been exceptionally fast” (1). This week’s In The News discusses some of the recently unveiled discoveries and provides background information and resources on vertebrate paleontology.

    The first resource is a press release from the University of Cambridge (UK), highlighting the recent discovery by Chinese paleontologists of the “oldest vertebrates” in the world (1). The second release, from the Field Museum of Natural History (published in the October 22 issue of Science), highlights the discovery of the oldest known dinosaur bones, from Madagascar (2). The third resource, from Infobeat (by Associated Press), describes the discovery in Oklahoma of Sauroposeidon proteles, a “60-ton giraffe-like creature” (3) (For more resources on the Oklahoma discovery, see this week’s Scout Report). Those seeking further new discoveries may enjoy the subsequent page provided by the Academy of Natural Sciences at Philadelphia (4) on the Academy’s recently unveiled dinosaur discoveries, including Theropod claws, Sauropod skull fragments, and an “unidentified meat eater.” Research on paleontology at the of Academy of Natural Sciences is further described at the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology’s Webpage (5). The Department of Paleobiology homepage (6), at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, offers background information on paleobiology with links to collections, exhibits, research programs, museums, educational institutions, and other resources. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Vertebrate Paleontology page (7) describes recent research and lists publications in addition to several educational resources. For historical background on dinosaur discoveries, see the University of California at Berkeley’s Museum of Paleontology page (8) on the earliest reported dinosaur discoveries in North America (follow links to further information). For a series of recent scientific articles (9) on dinosaur ichnology (the “trace fossils they left behind”), see this special feature from the prestigious journal _Nature_. The final site (10), from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, offers a wealth of links to related Internet resources — including museums and institutions, professional societies, journals, and other sites. [LXP] (From the Scout Report)


    Earth Alert
    Up-to-date information on any kind of disaster you can think of happening throughout the world this week: temperature extremes; oil spills; earthquakes; wildfires; endangered birds, whales, and land animals; floods; landslides; tornadoes; volcanoes; pollution; cyclones; toxins; diseases; heat; rain; hail; and insects. Includes archive of previous weeks. Links to interactive Amazing Earth Games, where YOU control the forces of nature. You can Crumble California, Unleash a Super Storm, or Destroy Life on Earth. Includes links to classroom activities about volcanoes, earthquakes, pollution, floods, snow, thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, tsunamis, and extreme weather. A production of The Discovery Channel. — rs (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    Icy Continent Mapped from Space with RADARSAT [QuickTime]
    Last week, scientists released images from the first high-resolution radar map of Antarctica. Taken over a period of eighteen days in 1997 by a NASA-launched Canadian satellite called RADARSAT, the images have revealed a number of amazing features never seen before. The most important of these is a complex network of ice streams, huge rivers of ice that move ice and snow from the continent’s interior to the sea, some moving up to 3,000 feet and one system that sends up to 19 cubic miles of ice to the sea each year. Another hidden feature imaged by RADARSAT was Lake Vostok, a massive fresh water lake laying two miles beneath the surface of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. This site, hosted by NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio, offers a fascinating and often beautiful virtual tour of Antarctica, divided into fifteen stops, featuring images of varying resolution and QuickTime movies. Users can also read the official press release and learn more about the RADARSAT mission with provided links. For further resources on RADARSAT and Antarctica, see the October 27, 1999 Scout Report for Science and Engineering. [MD] (From the Scout Report)

    The Haughton Mars Project
    “If humans are to live on Mars — even for brief periods — they are going to have to be supported by a wide range of infrastructure. They’ll need a place to work, rest and live. They’ll need power, light, food, water, heat. They’ll need robust transportation, equipment able to operate in low temperatures and “hostile” environments.

    In the summer of the year 2000, a unique experiment will begin in the Arctic Circle when the Mars Society deploys its Mars Arctic Research Station, the world’s first fully-simulated Mars Base.

    The MARS project will enable scientists, engineers and even astronauts to test the equipment and technology (habitation, transportation, life support, recycling, etc.), that may be deployed during a human mission to Mars.”

    Atlas of Antarctic Research
    Developed and maintained by the US Geological Survey (USGS) and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Atlas of Antarctic Research is intended as “a reference, an information framework, an education tool, and a research aid … [to] promote greater geographic awareness of the continent and the digital geospatial data that describe it.” Atlas parameters include Polar Stereographic Projection, units of meters, and Standard Latitude (71 degrees South), among others; source materials range from scales of 1:30,000,000 to 1:10,000 and come from several sources. The interactive Atlas map allows users to view, simultaneously or singly, several layers of ecological information — such as Rock Outcrops, Lakes, Contours, or Streams. Note that the Map Browser requires screen resolutions of 800 by 600 pixels, 1,024 by 768 pixels, or higher. [LXP] (From the Scout Report)

    Polar Photos
    The Danish Polar Center is now opening the virtual doors to our on-line new photo bureau “Polar Photos”. Our collections of contemporary and historical photos dealing with Greenland, arctic science and logistics are in the process of being digitized and made available on the internet. The volume of Polar Photos is still very modest but we are adding new photos every week. If you cannot find the picture you need among the 1700+ photos already included in Polar Photos today please contact our photo curator Grete Dalum-Tilds (

    [The photos are available for purchase, but thumbnails are on the website and they are beautiful.

    The search engine is a bit touchy; for instance, a search for “bears” brought no results, but a search for “bear” did.]

    Mathematical and Physical Sciences

    Famous Mathematical Curves
    This fascinating site gives a brief history of famous mathematical curves. OK, not so famous that I have heard of most of them, but the site is great fun even for an ignoramous like me! It includes a picture of the curve, the associated equation, related curves, a VERY brief history, and an interactive module that allows you to “play” with the curve.

    Chaos at Maryland
    “Since the mid-1970s, the Chaos Group at Maryland has done extensive research in various areas of chaotic dynamics ranging from the theory of dimensions, fractal basin boundaries, chaotic scattering, controlling chaos, etc.” In addition to research reports there is a chaos gallery; an extensive publications section with general references, online papers, abstracts, and The Chaos Database, a searchable database of more than 11,000 articles on nonlinear dynamics (CHAOSBIB); and a good list of links to other Web resources on chaotic behavior in systems. From the University of Maryland, College Park. — de (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    Polymers DotCom
    If you’re into plastics, this might be the site for you. It’s a central server for three closely related sources: PolyContent — this provides links to technical content not just corporate adverts so for the polymer professional, could be indispensable. Then there is PolyLinks which is a massive (mega, in their word) links repository including those corporate connections. Finally PDC magazine provides the site’s own 'content' in the form of features and news of interest to those with a penchant for polymers. (From New Scientist Planet Science).

    This site requires free registration. It also includes the following “Get Slimed! Visit our Slime page (if you dare) learn how to make gak and slime for the kids, or for yourself!!! and other interesting wierd sciences… ” Can’t resist that one …

    Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences

    Economagic [Excel]
    Economagic consists of over 100,000 time series, each including data and charts. Data is mainly indexed in alphabetical order, by source. However, special sections are listed for “Most Requested Series” and “Data by Region.” Selections are not annotated, but Economagic does note how many series are included with each resource. [EM] (From the Scout Report)

    Top Economic Events of the Twentieth Century — The Dismal Scientist
    The Dismal Scientist is commemorating the year 2000 with a look back at the top economic events of the 20th century. The editors have ranked their picks of the top 25 economic events of the past 100 years, according to criteria including the nature of the event, how it affected the US economy, and the long-term effects of the event. Each event is linked to a short article about its economic impact. The Dismal Scientist has also included a form for its readership to submit events. [EM] (From the Scout Report)

    The Duke Papyrus Archive
    “The Duke Papyrus Archive provides electronic access to texts about and images of 1,373 papyri from ancient Egypt. The target audience includes: papyrologists, ancient historians, archaeologists, biblical scholars, classicists, Coptologists, Egyptologists, students of literature and religion and all others interested in ancient Egypt. The project of conserving, interpreting, cataloguing and imaging the largely unpublished Duke papyrus collection was supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agency. Steven L. Hensen, Director of Planning and Project Development, Special Collections Library, and John F. Oates, Professor of Ancient History, directed the project. Peter van Minnen, who conserved and interpreted the papyri, and Suzanne D. Corr, who catalogued and scanned them, created these web pages with help from Paul Mangiafico, Director of The Digital Scriptorium of Duke’s Special Collections Library.”

    Rabbit in the Moon: Mayan Glyphs and Architecture
    This searchable site provides information on the Mayan language: both the hieroglyphic writing system, including images of all known glyphs, and spoken language, including sound files of vowels and syllables. There is also a discussion of the Mayan calendar (including a date converter); a detailed map indicating sites and language dialects; virtual reality scale models of the Pyramid of Kukulcn (El Castillo), the House of the Governor (Governor’s Palace), and the Bonampak Murals (best viewed with Virtus Player, freeware); a section of Mayan culture, oddities, and games; and links to related resources. — dl (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

    The Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA)
    Sponsored by the Native American Language Center at the University of California-Davis, the SSILA’s site serves as a superb resource for those studying Indigenous American languages. In addition to information about the society and its mission, and bulletins about upcoming events in the field of Indigenous language study, the site features a searchable comprehensive listing of articles on American Indian Languages in more than 100 journals from 1988 to the present; a Dissertation & Thesis Index, publishing abstracts of over 200 dissertations and theses on American Indian languages and related topics; a searchable database of notices and reviews for over 650 relevant books; an extensive and briefly annotated directory of Internet links for additional research; and a catalog of language learning materials, including ordering information, available for over 200 North American Indian languages. Membership information and a directory of SSILA members are also posted on-site. [DC] (From the Scout Report)

    Education and Human Resources

    Two on K-12 Education and Information Technology

    1. Acceptable Use Policies: A Handbook
    2. CTER White Papers on Technology Issues for Educators

    These two sites address a number of issues related to K-12 education and the use of information technology (IT). The first, provided by the Virginia Department of Education Technology Division, offers guidelines for the appropriate use of computer networks. These guidelines are generally known as Acceptable Internet Use Policy, or AUP, and are comprised of “a written agreement … signed by students, their parents and their teachers, outlining the terms and conditions of Internet use-rules of online behavior and access privileges.” Rather than set out a single AUP, this online handbook features a collection of selected resources to help administrators, teachers, library media specialists, and parents develop their own local AUP. The handbook includes links to examples of various components of an AUP, sample policies from Virginia and other states, and a selection of templates. The second resource features white papers written by teams of teachers and other K-12 personnel enrolled in a Masters program called CTER: Curriculum, Technology, and Educational Reform at the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign in the spring of 1999. The topics covered include Access Issues; Credibility and Web Evaluation; Free Speech vs. Censorship; Privacy; Commercialism; Intellectual Property, Copyright, and Plagiarism; and Computer Crime and Technology Misuse. The layout and content of each of the seven white papers varies, but most are presented as easily navigated Webpages (“An Educator’s Guide To …”) rather than simple digitized text. [MD] (From the Scout Report)

    Doctoral Research in Educational Technology: A Directory of Dissertations, 1977–1998
    Text Only
    Compiled by Edward P. Caffarella, Professor of Educational Technology at the University of Northern Colorado, this site indexes doctoral dissertations in Instructional Design and Technology completed during the calendar years 1977 through 1998 at fifty major US universities. Users can browse the directory in five subsections, accessed via pull-down menus: Student, Keyword, Institution, Chair, and Year. Dissertation listings include student name, year, title, institution, and chairperson. A list of words not included in the key words in context (KWIC) index is also provided to aid searching. The directory will be updated annually with listings for dissertations completed during the previous year. [MD] (From the Scout Report)


    “Finding Company Information”:

    Safe Shopping
    What you need to know for safe shopping on the Internet, from the American Bar Asso.

    “Finding Travel Information”:

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    Internet2 developers conducted their first demonstration of the new high-speed Internet, broadcasting online live audio and video of a gall bladder operation. The Internet2 project gathers academic, government, and corporate partners to build a high-speed version of the Internet. The technology is designed to enable the development of a new breed of advanced educational and research-oriented applications. The demonstration of the operation was conducted by inserting light, camera lenses, and surgical tools inside of the body, creating internal views of the operation. The application required a steady rate of 2 Mbps of network bandwidth. Ensuring high-speed access and quality of service is one of the top priorities of the Internet2 project, says Guy Almes, Internet2’s director of engineering. The project consists of more than 120 research universities, as well as companies such as IBM and Qwest Communications.
    (Belfast Telegraph Online 10/26/99 via Edupage)

    There are now 8 million computers in U.S. public schools, twice as many as in 1993, according to Dun & Bradstreet’s Market Data Retrieval subsidiary, but access to high technology and the Internet is still very uneven nationwide. Delaware leads the nation in the number of students per terminal with Internet access at 5.8, followed by Alaska at 6.0, Nebraska at 7.2, South Dakota at 7.3, and North Dakota at 9.1. However, in the District of Columbia there are 31.4 students per Internet-access terminal, worst in the U.S., followed by Alabama at 30.2, Louisiana at 25.0, North Carolina at 24.9, and Mississippi at 20.1.
    (Christian Science Monitor 11/02/99 via Edupage)

    Computer scientists at a range of institutions have recently made advances in molecular electronics that might eventually lead to computing devices that are incredibly small and powerful. In July, Hewlett-Packard researchers announced that they had built electronic logic gates that were one molecule thick. HP’s gates could open or shut, but could not switch positions again. Now, researchers at Yale and Rice Universities have developed molecular-scale switches that can be opened and shut repeatedly, which is necessary to signify the ones and zeroes used in computing. Meanwhile, HP researchers are creating rows of conductive wires that are less than 12 atoms across, which would be necessary to connect the molecular-level switches. Another molecular electronics lab is rumored to be developing a molecular-level device that holds RAM. Molecular memory devices could provide tremendous storage for a cost of only a few pennies. Researchers say molecular-level circuits could be developed using a chemical process that would “self-assemble” large quantities of the circuits at a very low cost. Although scientists admit that molecular-level computers are still far off, the government and corporations have begun to notice molecular electronics.
    (New York Times 11/01/99 via Edupage)

    In the recent past, Internet advocates worried that government censorship and taxation would hamper the Web’s growth. However, recent events have shown that the true danger to a democratic Internet may be corporate battles over intellectual property. While some of these claims are legitimate, many are for functions that are and have been widely used on the Web since its inception. Many examples abound of corporations attempting to patent ideas or practices that have been around for years. Gregory Aharonian, publisher of the Internet Patent News Service, says the fault lies with the Patent and Trademark Office, which he claims gives out patents too freely. Some groups, such as the World Wide Web Coalition, are fighting back against the issuance of broad patents. One of the coalition’s goals is to establish open standards that will democratize the Web and make it run more smoothly. The group has already had run-ins with Microsoft, Intermind, and other companies over patented ideas and functions that it feels should be open standards.
    (New Scientist 10/16/99 via Edupage)

    The widespread availability of information from a variety of sources leaves textbook use on the wane in Saskatchewan. William Gulka, who manages rural schools in the Yorkton area, says sources such as the Internet and magazines are often used as educational tools. As an alternative to traditional texts, which are maligned for not allowing “room for expansion,” the Saskatchewan education department advocates research-based learning and provides lists of relevant resources for each new curriculum. Some say that research-based learning can be difficult and frustrating for students. Executive director of the Saskatchewan Association of School Councils Joy Bastness says “studies can be hampered by limited resources. It really depends on the financial affluence of the school division.” Gulka’s Yorktown division helped itself to added funding by forming a partnership with IBM Canada, which now provides the division’s schools with new computers and regularly updated electronic encyclopedias. The schools are also beginning to replace books with electronic texts.
    (Western Producer 10/14/99 via Edupage)

    Hungary Minds, an Internet portal site, last month inked deals with the University of Maryland, UCLA Extension,, and iVillage, and has now arranged to have an exclusive button on Yahoo!’s education site. Hungary Minds is designed to be an education site where one evening a person can research for a Ph.D. and the next night learn how to fly fish, says CEO Stuart Skorman. He says, “Any individual person can make a course and offer it through our site.” Hungary Minds reserves the right to reject courses it deems unsuitable such as courses on how to construct a nuclear weapon or those with high sexual content. Robert E. Myers, the senior vice-president for policy planning and administration at the University of Maryland, says the school and Hungary Minds have entered into a “reciprocal revenue” agreement whereby Hungary Minds will pay the university whenever a visitor is sent to the Hungary Minds site from the University of Maryland site and visa versa.
    (Chronicle of Higher Education Online 10/19/99 via Edupage)

    Persuading faculty members to embrace technology is the most difficult task for academic-computing officials, according to a Campus Computing Project survey released on Thursday. Almost 40 percent of the IT officials who responded to the survey cited helping faculty bring technology to the classroom as their largest challenge. “I think it’s fair to say that many faculty members have ceded to their students the whole issue of technology skills,” says Campus Computing Project founder and director Kenneth Green. Over 25 percent of respondents listed “providing adequate user support” as their largest problem, while almost 15 percent ranked financing the replacement of older technology as a top concern. Although Y2K and e-commerce are among the most pressing issues affecting the IT industry, few academic officials listed either issue as their largest problem. The survey also reveals that community colleges have an average of one IT staff member supporting every 800 students, while four-year colleges and universities have an average of one IT staff member for every 150 students.
    (Chronicle of Higher Education 10/21/99 via Edupage)

    A new book entitled “Taking a Big Picture Look @ Technology, Learning & the Community College,” explores what steps community colleges need to take to prepare students for working in the high-tech marketplace. The book, written by 15 authors and co-edited by Mark D. Milton and Cindy L. Miles, will be published in December or January by the League for Innovation in the Community College. The authors say community colleges need to create a student-centered educational environment that makes every effort to expose students to the latest in relevant technology. Some schools are doing this already by offering distance-learning programs and establishing sophisticated Web sites that allow students to register and pay for classes and generally avoid academic bureaucracies. Also, college presidents are hiring younger, more technology-savvy professors to replace retiring faculty. The League for Innovation surveyed 523 college presidents and CEOs while preparing the book.
    (Chronicle of Higher Education Online 10/25/99 via Edupage)

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Cambridge will announce a partnership on Monday that will have the two schools sharing resources and students to develop new technologies and increase both schools’ productivity and competitiveness. The British government will provide 80 percent of the partnership’s $135 million budget for the first five years, while private money from the U.K. will provide the rest. Junior-year students at both schools will be able to study a joint curriculum abroad as if they were a regular student at the partnership school. MIT Chancellor Lawrence Bacow says, “What we are about to do is potentially historic. It could transform both institutions and truly create a new model for the global research university in the 21st century.”
    (Washington Post 11/08/99 via Edupage)

    Congress has introduced more than 60 bills that regulate the Internet, and as many as six of those that have backing from the business industry will likely be passed before the year is out. Technology companies are pushing for stronger contract laws as well as legislation that would protect copyrights and trademarks. The Center for Responsive Politics says technology companies have earmarked $18 million for lobbying efforts in next year’s elections. Congress has failed to address issues that affect online consumers, such as privacy and security. Mark Rottenberg, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, says the Internet industry makes sure its needs are heard first when Congress addresses Internet issues. Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Newport Beach), says Congress has become overzealous in its efforts to regulate the Internet. Consumer privacy groups are “outmanned” by organized industry efforts to reduce online privacy, according to David Moulton, an aide to Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.).
    (Los Angeles Times 11/08/99 via Edupage)

    As the rate of technological progress increases all the time, groups such as Plugged In and the Area Learning Center are working to bridge the widening technological gap between low- and high-income schools. At the Area Learning Center, students in danger of dropping out of school are put to work on projects using various multimedia technologies. The collaborative learning process instills marketable skills in the students who hopefully will put those skills to use for themselves as Dominic Ballister did. Ballister, a product of the Plugged In program, is a lead designer for Plugged In Enterprises, a teen-operated Web design firm in Silicon Valley. “Plugged In has given me an opportunity to see the business side of the world. It has … taught me how to market myself,” he says. Although the number of computers in schools has doubled since 1993, California, the home of Silicon Valley, has the lowest computer-to-student ratio in the nation.
    (Wired News 11/04/99 via Edupage)


    Capitol Project
    Take a virtual tour of The Capitol or The Mall in Washington, D.C., or read essays on special historical topics in The Nation. View monuments, buildings, statues, frescoes, portraits, and more, along with brief descriptions and information about historical context. The graphics archive, arranged alphabetically, is an extensive collection of items currently being displayed or in storage. Searchable. — dl (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)