15 January 1996 (updated 29 February, 1996)
Thank you for your responses to the questionnaire ANU sent out on how best to co-ordinate user access to the wide range of subject-based resources available on the Internet. This document summarises the fourteen responses received.
Q. 1. If you have an electronic subject access guide how do you assist users to find it? How have you determined and structured information access?
Adelaide We assist users to find it in any way we can - using our regular paper publications, an option on the remote login screens for the catalogue for the lynx version, subject librarians and information desk staff, as well as the University and Library's home page. We are still working on structuring the information access, and plan some changes. The basis is largely our Faculty and Department structure. ANU Under consideration - have opted to use a local classification devised by the Graduate School as it describes the interests of the campus. Bond Library started such a guide in Tourism Law which has now been passed onto the School of Law. Charles Sturt Not yet - considering providing it by School and/or faculty. Some Education resources already available from University's home page. Edith Cowan No. Using University's Faculty structure in the CWIS to provide access to relevant Internet resources, but not yet done systematically. Griffith A link from GU home page to 'Internet Resources' which further subdivides to 'Resources by Subject for Griffith Uni Faculties'. Also another link via 'Library' home page. Both are listed under 'Publications' on home page and are accessible via resources at the top of the home page. Information access is structured along School/Faculty major disciplinary lines. James Cook Access is through the Library home page and Faculty Librarian's home page. New England Internet access is via UNEWeb; University has no policies to determine the resources to which it should be linked. Links have been made to various resources from the UNEWeb home page, the Library's pages, and the home pages of various centres and departments on campus. Pointers not coordinated, and there may be some duplication. Northern Territory Still considering this. Envisage a subject link on the Resources page. Information will be specifically for WWW browsing arranged by format. Queensland ubject access will be provided by the appropriate branch libraries, and will be attached to their papers as "useful sites" relevant to each branch. Currently Law and PSE have viable resources. There are also "top level" general papers envisaged, which will also link to the branch subject guides. Emphasis is on the use of search engines. QUT Not yet. Currently developing a process whereby Liaison Librarians will develop lists of resources for the Schools they serve. Lists will form a subject guide, along with general, reference and cross-disciplinary lists created by the Database Librarian. Liaison Librarians will construct the lists, but will invite input from the Schools and the Library. Southern Cross Have developed our own classification which mirrors the course structure of the University. Southern Queensland Not yet available. Have a keyword search that returns titles of documents (rather than meaningless filenames). A subject guide will be the responsibility of the various liaison librarians. Swinburne Not now, but currently under consideration again. Had a very early effort maintained by a single person in 1994, but it was discontinued as it required more input and maintenance by a greater range of people. Sydney Have devised a subject approach under the appropriate subject headings, e.g., life sciences. These guides are available on our Web server under the menu heading: Subject Guides. Are also making our TCP/IP databases available via our WWW server under their titles. Victoria Not at present, but are considering how for future, but do show them others available on the Web. Wollongong No guide at present.
Q. 1.1 How do you make users aware of subject-based Internet information sources, e.g. Electronic Library and Information Science at ANU (ELISA) Home Page or University of Waterloo Subject Guide?
Adelaide Again, via any method we can - our printed newsletters, the subject guide on the web, subject librarians. We don't have a stated formal process. ANU We are developing such a service via our Elisa server <http://elisa.anu.edu.au/elisa.html>. Bond We point to (1) Subject Clearinghouse at Univ. of Michigan and (2) Virtual Reference Desk at Univ. of Massachusetts. Charles Sturt 'What's New' page (Library) on WWW; newsletters and email from Contact Librarians. Very selective. Edith Cowan Via Faculty and Library Home Pages as appropriate. Griffith As above. James Cook Library Home Page New England Currently formulating policies and procedures on Internet resources and how to make use of them. At present Information Desk staff perform searches on the Web if a patron requires information on a particular subject. Northern Territory Liaison Librarians provide email announcements to lecturers and postgrads as well a Bookmarking items on the public workstation. Queensland Connections from Home Page. Internet classes also subject info skills classes. QUT Currently Liaison Librarians use email to notify academics of Internet resources likely to be of interest. Also use Library newsletters to announce resources likely to be of wide-spread interest. Southern Cross Have a home page with links to our subject guides. Southern Queensland At present through our Liaison Librarians' 'hotlists'. Next step will be through a pointer to these from the various Faculty home pages. Swinburne It would be publicised and made accessible via the Library www home pages and the Swinburne CWIS. Sydney Again, via our www server. Have decided to make the Web server our main point of access to both Library and Internet resources available to University of Sydney staff and students. Victoria Through individual training, classes and email. Wollongong No organised access at present. Research Librarian sends out details of relevant sources to academic staff, but they usually don't keep details.
Q. 2. Do you see it as the task of the Library to mount sets of pointers to services within an academic area or is it the task of the academics?
Adelaide At present both approaches are happening, with subject librarians attempting to coordinate efforts with Departments. ANU Considering both approaches. Bond Both approaches are appropriate. Frequently it is the academic staff who determine what is more useful by their setting bookmarks. Charles Sturt Realistically think Library would need to do this, especially maintenance. Edith Cowan Library has primary responsibility inclusive of pointers in Faculty home pages and is starting to provide these. Griffith Both. Library should be pointing to major directories like Yahoo and possibly to actual resources we would normally collect such as Cambridge Scientific Abstracts databases. Faculty staff are better placed to explore with their students and identify resources as part of learning process. James Cook Faculty Librarians set pointers to Internet sites relevant to their subject areas. New England See this task as being part of the Library's function, but not exclusive to the Library. Academic staff are also free to mount their own pointers. Northern Territory Will be implementing both. Library will integrate pointers into the Library subject guides as well as on relevant pages. Faculties will each determine their own approach. Queensland Very mixed. Some being done through department home page - others through library. QUT Some academics already do this themselves, but many others have indicated they would like the Library to do it for them. I believe that, in the long run, most academics would prefer the Library to do the administrative work, providing that the service were kept current and they had the opportunity to provide intellectual input. Southern Cross See this as a joint responsibility similar to the current system of selecting paper based resources. Our ideal model would be close collaboration between academic and Library staff to incorporate links to electronic resources directly into online course material. Southern Queensland Collaborative venture, ideally. Swinburne No formal policy yet. May use expertise and experience of both librarians and academics. Sydney Yes, see it as part of Library role. Although academics are doing some work it is not uniform across all the faculties. Library's Web server will also provide links to the academics' pages where appropriate. Victoria Probably a joint operation, but Library definitely involved. Wollongong Mixture - the Library should be providing pointers to a limited range of generic pointers with individuals maintaining the links to specialised sources.
Q. 2.1 If there is an academically supported server offering links to information in a subject, does the Library also maintain one or do academics support the work done by the Library?
Adelaide At present both are happening, although if the academic department or area has good resources mounted, the Library is tending to point to them. At present this is in a minority of cases. ANU Both. Bond N/a Charles Sturt Some duplication of effort between Library and academics at 'general' level. Edith Cowan Library Faculty Teams input to Faculty-maintained servers in close liaison with members of faculty and systems staff. Griffith Some Faculties or Schools have created links, but most have not. Still only the activity of the minority of academics. James Cook Academic departments' home pages feature departmental information and currently do not provide links to other Internet sources. New England Academically supported links have been created without input from the Library. There is no co-ordination of effort with regard to the Web. Northern Territory Only a small number of academics currently involved in web page construction, and little collaboration on style or contents has taken place. IT Committee has established a Working Party which is preparing University guidelines for Web publishing. Queensland There is currently some duplication of effort, but we point to their resources as part of our resource list, rather than having total duplication. We hope to put up information with a more bibliographic slant. QUT Library would still maintain its own list, but may link to the academic service if it were considered to be adequately maintained. Southern Cross At present Library server is the only server in the University with subject links. Southern Queensland Wasteful of resources to maintain more than one; use pointers to the 'definitive' for any additional entries on the CWIS. Swinburne Most online information is mounted on a central server maintained by the University's Computing and network unit, with maintenance and development of content decentralised. Some academic areas have mounted their own servers. Sydney Library is supporting the academics in most cases, via html classes and Internet resources classes. This is work done by a specific team of librarians who are providing courses on the Internet to academics and postgraduates in specific subject areas. Victoria Is done in cooperation at present, and seems appropriate. Wollongong Are considering problem of who pays for access from a server under the new charge schedule instituted by the University. Policy not yet finalised, but considering a cooperative approach which has the links on the Faculty server with the Faculty responsible for maintaining the service but with the Library providing assistance through the Faculty Librarians.
Q. 2.2 Does the Library provide subject access to a topic if an academic area is already doing so? If so on what basis?
Adelaide The Library will provide a link to the academic area if it is a useful resource. ANU ANU Library will set a pointer to the academic area if it is deemed adequate. Bond N/a Charles Sturt Same as ANU Edith Cowan No Griffith Lack of coordination is probably what leads to any existing duplication. Ideally we would have pointers from the Library to the School/Faculty access point. James Cook Library provides links to subject information since academic departments do not consistently provide links. New England While Library is not currently offering subject access from its Web pages, it intends to do so. Duplication could occur, but not considered a problem. Northern Territory If pointer is deemed to be relevant and in context it can be duplicated. Queensland Yes and no - See 2.1. QUT As above Southern Cross No academic staff doing this to any great extent at present. Southern Queensland Would use a pointer to the academic area if it is a reasonable expectation that the users will arrive at the library area of the CWIS searching for this information. Swinburne No policy on this yet. Sydney Situation has not yet arisen, but I imagine we would just link into the academics' pages and support the academics with pointers to new resources. Victoria More done by the Library at present. Not many pointers yet, but plan them. Wollongong Not yet, and would probably only do so if the academic area restricted undergraduate access or if the link was of wide interest.
Q. 2.3 What tools is the Library providing to assist academic staff support their own access methods to the Internet e.g. URL addresses?
Adelaide What tools is the Library providing to assist academic staff support their own access methods to the Internet e.g. URL addresses? ANU The Library, through its support services and the Centre for Networked Information and Publishing (CNIP), provides a general service to assist academics in their use of the Internet. Bond Library teaches staff to use the "Search Tools" option on our campus server, but many academics simply use the default tools available through Netscape. Charles Sturt None provided. Edith Cowan Library is currently providing URL addresses and agreeing with faculty how these will be accessed via Faculty home pages. Griffith None. James Cook Currently none. New England No formalised structure in place. Advertise sites of interest to academic community through its newsletter for academic staff 'Shelf Life' which is also available in paper and electronic format on the Web. Faculty Librarians pass on relevant sites to academic staff. Northern Territory Liaison Librarians forward relevant information, have provided introductory Internet sessions and one-on-one assistance. We have better facilities and higher usage than any other area and are consulted on many related issues. Queensland Integrated resources page. We have also developed (with Department of Computer Sciences) QUIK (the Queensland University Kit). QUT Liaison Librarians offer various types of assistance, depending on the demand and their own expertise. Southern Cross Internet guides have a list of important URLs (mostly directories and search engines) which are also incorporated into our training sessions. Southern Queensland None Swinburne Liaison Librarians circulate information resources with URLs to appropriate academic staff, usually via email. Sydney Currently none. Victoria Paper guides and tuition. Wollongong None.
Q. 2.4 Do Library staff who monitor, filter and link (or point to) services from the Net belong to one particular Division (e.g. Collection Management or Information Services) or are they library-wide?
Adelaide Do Library staff who monitor, filter and link (or point to) services from the Net belong to one particular Division (e.g. Collection Management or Information Services) or are they library-wide? ANU Not at ANU. Staff from all Divisions in the Library have been asked to volunteer to be a subject Internet co-ordinator/convenor. Bond They are Library wide. Charles Sturt Suggestions from all Library staff are managed by the Divisional (= Univ. Librarian's) Office. Edith Cowan Staff from all areas are involved, with primary activity being conducted in Library Faculty Teams. Coordination/ direction by Manager. In process of introducing cataloguing. Griffith Mostly Reference staff, but some from other areas. James Cook Library-wide as Faculty Librarians are cross sectional. New England Staff member who maintains the Library's Web pages and pointers is a member of Readers Services staff, and has been seconded to the Library Systems Project to create the Library's home pages, find sites and provide general information on how to use the Web. Northern Territory Have Library-wide involvement in the ongoing development of our Web pages. Each branch has a Web page group with a member nominated to sit on an editorial team. Coordination is delegated to a volunteer editor with systems advice from the Manager of LIT. Queensland Library -wide but mainly from training and reader services areas. QUT Liaison Librarians (User Services staff) will coordinate the lists for their Schools, but input will be encouraged from throughout the Library. Southern Cross All staff currently involved are from Reference. Have just formed a Working Party involving reference and cataloguing staff to trial some new models of adding Internet resources to our collection. Southern Queensland Liaison Librarians, though it is hoped to expand the input over time. Swinburne At present, the Electronic Services Librarian (who has cross campus responsibility) and Liaison Librarians in the information services areas of the campus libraries. It is envisaged that a (presently vacant) collection management position at Hawthorn campus will assist Liaison Librarians. We are considering the involvement by other staff such as cataloguers. Sydney Staff from all Divisions are doing this work. However, the Internet training project team has been drawn from the pool of reference librarians spread over two Divisions. Victoria Client services in process of setting up. Wollongong Intention that the Faculty Librarians (Information Services) will be primarily responsible but with input from the Research Services Librarian (Administration) and the Acquisitions staff (Technical Services), though the latter would need increased expertise. Overall quality will be monitored by the Database Access Librarian (Information Services).
Q. 3. Are such staff allocated an area to monitor on a subject basis?
Adelaide Information Services Department staff are subject librarians with specific subject responsibilities, based on academic departments, so they monitor their areas of subject responsibility, as do branch librarians. ANU ANU has allocated specific subject areas to selected volunteers across the library. Bond No, they tend to do it on the basis of interest. Charles Sturt No, except that Technical Services staff tend to monitor matters relating to their area. Edith Cowan Not strictly by subject but by Faculty, which results in roughly related subject groups with some overlaps (e.g. social sciences occurs in two Faculties). Griffith Faculty Librarians deal with their own areas of interest. James Cook Faculty Librarians have allocated subject areas. New England No formal system but Faculty Librarians and their team members look for sites in subject area relevant to their particular Faculty. Northern Territory Subject specific areas are allocated to the Liaison Librarians with input and monitoring generated by all staff. Queensland Branch library staff expected to monitor developments in their subject areas. QUT Liaison Librarians will coordinate lists for their own areas - which will be basically subject-oriented, but there maybe some overlap between areas. Southern Cross Under present model, Faculty contact librarians will fulfil this role. Southern Queensland Yes Swinburne Have not yet formally set up such a mechanism. Sydney Yes. Subject Librarians for each area monitor their subjects, the Collection Management Division and Serials Division cover e-journals, Cataloguing look at the cataloguing area, etc. Victoria In process of setting up. Wollongong This is the intention.
Q. 3.1 Are the same persons (or group of people) responsible for all tasks or do they take responsibility for only one operation (e.g. searching for material, maintaining links, or quality control, etc.)?
Adelaide The same persons are responsible for all tasks, although there is an "editorial committee" to look at the overall structure of the service, including general and policy information, and provide guidelines to achieve consistent pages. Guidelines are still in the process of compilation. ANU At ANU Library this is currently spread across Divisions. Bond People perform a variety of tasks. Charles Sturt Spread across the division, with html work currently provided by the Divisional Office. Edith Cowan Have adopted team approach in identifying, evaluating sources, presenting them for access and quality control. Depending on team structures or particular projects one individual might be responsible for all elements in relation to particular source(s). Griffith Essentially Faculty Librarians search for links and perform quality control. Other staff create links. James Cook Network Electronic Information Services Librarian maintains quality control and overall Library's Web management and development. New England Library Project staff member is responsible for all areas to do with the Web (creating home pages, making links, and finding sites). Northern Territory Everyone can provide input which is filtered to the editorial team that provide guidance and direction (quality control?). Projects are owned by the innovators. Queensland Not formalised. Links are maintained centrally. Quality control is overseen centrally, but needs to be more closely linked to policy and to existing print publications. QUT In theory Liaison Librarians will be responsible for all tasks relating to the lists. In practice, the Database Librarian will provide support for those who need help, and will oversee the entire service to ensure it is well maintained. Southern Cross Faculty contact librarians. Southern Queensland Liaison Librarians have only been identifying relevant materials. CWIS Controller has been making links, but Librarians are moving to greater responsibility. Swinburne Have not considered how different tasks may be undertaken by different library staff. Sydney Spread across all Divisions, although with training we are preparing staff to take responsibility for their pages, including searching for material, quality of the materials and mounting that material. Are hoping to find some software to maintain the links. Victoria Spread. Wollongong Everything - consequently the range and number of links will be kept small.
Q. 4. What are the positions and levels (e.g. cataloguers, subject area bibliographers or information services/outreach staff) of staff who undertake this work?
Adelaide Subject librarians in Information Services Department (HEO8). ANU At ANU, staff of any level may volunteer, but they are expected to have a reasonable interest in the subject. Bond In general, from Information (Client) Services area. Charles Sturt Information Librarians (HEW 5-8), Technical Services staff (HEW 5-8). Edith Cowan Faculty Librarians, information services librarians, cataloguers, library technicians, from HEW 4 to HEW 9. Griffith Reference/Faculty Librarians (HEW 6); staff who set up links are HEW3. James Cook Faculty Librarians. New England Library Project person is a level 5 member of Reader Services Staff. Northern Territory A high degree of participation at all levels and branches. All staff are given the opportunity to develop their skills and interest in the Internet. There would be 101% participation, stretching beyond full time staff. Queensland Level 6-7 librarians in any area. This will change QUT Liaison Librarians are most Reference Librarians. Southern Cross One Network Services Librarian (HEW 8); six Faculty Contact Librarians (HEW 6). Southern Queensland Level 6. Swinburne N/a at present. Sydney So far work has been done by all levels of staff, but volunteers must have subject expertise. Victoria Subject Liaison Librarians and Coordinators of Web page and Technical Services Librarian. Wollongong Faculty Librarians HEW 5/6; Research Services HEW 7; Database Services HEW 7; Acquisitions HEW 4.
Q. 5. What percentage of their time do these staff devote to Internet filtering, pointing and linking?
Adelaide We don't have "hard" figures on this, but estimate 5-10%. ANU A maximum of 5%, although up to 10% may be needed for setting up initial links. Bond 10% Charles Sturt Variable. No setup has exceeded one week in a year. Central maintenance would be a maximum of 5%. Edith Cowan Can't estimate. Griffith Varies greatly and is undoubtedly inadequate to the task. At this stage, no set amount of time. James Cook 3-5%. New England Library Project person spends most of her time on the Web - giving demonstrations on how to use it as well as promoting its use among members of the University community. She is also working on a document imaging project. Northern Territory WebPages have been integrated into all areas. Time spent will depend on involvement with the WebPage Group: members perhaps 3%, editorial team 10%, editor and LIT manager less than 20%. Queensland For those who do this, 5% to 10% would be conservative - but it is likely that much of the work is undertaken in own time. QUT Will be left to the discretion of the staff involved. Southern Cross Less than 5%. Southern Queensland Small amount of time to this particular exercise. However, Liaison Librarians have been relieved of desk duties to pursue Internet training and promotion. Swinburne No quantified at present. Sydney No adequate statistics in this area. Victoria Varies depending on other duties, time of year, etc. Wollongong Minimal - expected to take about one day to establish and at most an hour per week for maintenance.
Q. 6. How are standards of consistency maintained (if at all) in subject Net creation and linking between different subjects?
Adelaide The "editorial committee" referred to in 3.1 above is considering how consistent standards can be maintained, but at the moment this is done by the subject librarians. ANU Initially ANU will concentrate on pointers to major collections of Internet information. Bond N/a Charles Sturt Awaiting University developments and guidelines. Edith Cowan Library is currently developing minimum standards and training staff to them. Permit a wide variety of variance in presentation and linking to reflect differences in Faculty 'culture'. Griffith Still working on this. James Cook Library has a basic template to follow when home pages are being developed - to ensure a consistent professional image. Formal standards are slowly being developed. New England A University committee has determined minimum basic standards for presentation of Web pages which apply to every home page associated with the University, regardless of who (centre, directorate or department) creates it. Library complies with these standards. Northern Territory Editorial Web team (which considers group consensus) have compiled a framework for good Web style. Queensland All pages are reviewed for accuracy and format by a webmaster. Suggestions are made at the creation/major modification stages, but the low level detail is left up to the page creator. QUT Will attempt to ensure a consistent arrangement, but because of diversity of resources, this may be difficult. All lists will have a standard header and footer; Database Librarian reserves the right to make alterations to the pages to ensure consistency. Southern Cross Have a set template for Library Web pages, but no indexing standards yet. Are considering adapting some elements of the Dublin Core metadata project as part of our joint reference/cataloguing project. Southern Queensland Under consideration. Swinburne N/a at present. Divergent standards and methods could be an issue where Library maintains some subject areas and others are maintained by academics. Sydney Have a Working Party looking at this. Victoria All will go through coordinator of Library home page. Wollongong Not given this much thought yet, but use will be a prime indicator.
Q. 6.1 Do you catalogue Internet resources e.g. electronic journals? If not are you thinking of doing so?
Adelaide We are currently developing a policy for cataloguing and providing access to Internet resources, including electronic journals. ANU ANU will do so where existing print copies have electronic equivalents. Otherwise Elisa will point to electronic journal collective sites. Bond No, we point to other collective resources, e.g. the QULOC project. Charles Sturt At this stage only for those with existing print copies, those produced by the University and its officers, or those appearing on subscription databases (such as ABI full-text). Edith Cowan Yes, but only a few titles to date - of electronic equivalents of print titles. Library is currently forming a rationale for doing so, starting with the fundamental examination of the role of the catalogue in relation to Internet resources. Griffith Not at this stage. James Cook No, and no plans to do so in the near future. New England No. Northern Territory Not currently considering this issue. Queensland New system will link key Internet resources through catalogue. QUT Not at this stage, but intend to catalogue at least those resources for which the Library pays a subscription. Southern Cross Not yet, but will consider as part of joint reference/cataloguing project. Southern Queensland Have a pointer to these in the Library area of the CWIS, under electronic information sources. Swinburne We catalogue online indexes/ databases, and full text journals to which we subscribe online, not general Internet resources. Issue of cataloguing other Internet resources is under consideration. Sydney We catalogue electronic journals to which we subscribe and are looking at other Internet resources also. Victoria Not yet. Wollongong Haven't got around to thinking about it.
Q. 6.2 Do you have a WWW interface to your catalogue which lets links be made to Internet resources? If not are you thinking of providing one?
Adelaide We are currently developing a policy for cataloguing and providing access to Internet resources, including electronic journals. ANU No, but ANU is in the process of evaluating this facility on a new Innopac release. Bond No to both questions. Charles Sturt No, but development underway, expected to be available early 1996. Edith Cowan No Griffith Facility is available, but not yet implemented. James Cook No, and no plans to provide such an interface. New England No, but Library is considering the purchase of a VTLS library package which will work with our present system to allow Internet resources to be catalogued and viewed on our PAC thorough the Netscape browser. Northern Territory We will convert our OPACs to a Lynx (text) interface for Semester One 1996, as well as providing another graphics-capable public workstation to ensure widespread client access via a Web interface. Hope to provide links from catalogue records with a future release of Dynix. Queensland Innopac WebPAC will be mounted this year. An interface called BabyOil has been developed by one of the Centres, independently of the Library. QUT No, but will be considered during investigation of a new Library system. Southern Cross No, have discussed it and consider it a possible approach to specific types of Internet resources (major, permanent and relevant sites). Southern Queensland Under investigation. Swinburne A Web interface to our Dynix system "WebPac" will become available during 1996. Sydney We have just purchased the Innopac catalogue which has the Beta www interface. We shall purchase the interface as soon as it becomes commercially available. Victoria Yes, considering it. Wollongong No, but software has been ordered.
Q. 7. ANU presently co-ordinates the national service for Library Home pages. Is the information for your Library at <URL:http://info.anu.edu.au/ozlib/ozlib.html> correct? If your Library Home page is not there, can you please supply it? We hope to transfer this service to the National Library.
Information is correct for all libraries. Other comments:
New England A suggestion - searching tool enables browsers to find university libraries by names of institution only, not by name of Library; perhaps it could be made clear to the user that this is how the search engine operated, or allow the engine to search by library name. Northern Territory Your ozlib pages provide an excellent service which we have included on our WebPages. Southern Cross We find this page very valuable; keep up the good work.
Yours sincerely,Colin Steele, University Librarian, The Australian National University