Vol 7.4: Winter 2002/2003
In Newsline 7.4
EDINA to lead SUNCAT
EDINA will lead a two-year, 700k project with Ex Libris and Edinburgh University Library to set-up and deliver SUNCAT, the national union catalogue of serials data for the UK.
Funded by the JISC and initiated as part of the Research Support Libraries Programme, SUNCAT will help researchers and students find serial publications held in libraries other than their own. As a centralised source of high-quality records about serials, SUNCAT will also allow library staff to upgrade their own local catalogues, assigning the ISSN and improving the bibliographic description, all important in joining up libraries within the UKs digital library.
EDINA will be working with Ex Libris, one of the worlds leading suppliers of library systems. SUNCAT will be a deployment of their software, ALEPH 500, the basis of a growing number of national union catalogues throughout the world and of the new catalogue for the California Digital Library Catalogue, Melvyl.
SUNCAT will be designed to help end users, staff and students. We also aim to make co-operation with the library community a high priority. Liz Stevenson of the Edinburgh University Library will take the lead on user requirements, working with and building upon work done by Tony Kidd of Glasgow University, which together with the National Library of Scotland are associate partners. Comparable active involvement in the early stages of the project is anticipated from the large deposit libraries of Oxford and Cambridge Universities. As ever, the EDINA Helpdesk and User Support will be first point of contact for enquiries.
The SUNCAT database will be a centralised catalogue with the ISSN world database as its spine, the Cooperative Online Serials (CONSER) database and discrete catalogues of contributing libraries providing the source of bibliographic records. SUNCAT records will be created from the highest-quality data from each of these contributors, accurately indicating the locations of journal titles in UK libraries whilst providing the richest possible bibliographic expression available from CONSER and ISSN.
SUNCAT will be developed in three phases, for a total of over 1 million across a four-year period. In Phase 1, 2003-04, a critical mass of current scientific, technical and medical titles will be created from 20 large UK university and research collections. We intend to launch a pilot SUNCAT service in autumn 2003. Phase 2, 2005-06, will increase coverage of libraries to about 200, with focus on specialist collections, including older and rarer materials. By the end of 2006, SUNCAT will be the first port of call for information about serials held in UK libraries. Phase 3 (2006 - ) will be a period of consolidation to ensure the long-term stability of SUNCAT.
You can keep abreast of developments through the EDINA web site - see http://edina.ac.uk/projects/ - or contact us directly via the EDINA Helpdesk (firstname.lastname@example.org). The primary contacts for information about the SUNCAT project within EDINA are Dr Leah Halliday (Project Manager) and Peter Burnhill (Director).
EDINA is delighted to announce the first release of a ground-breaking new service. The JISC-sponsored Education Media OnLine allows users at subscribing UK HE and FE institutions to download films and videos,initially free of charge, via Athens authorisation. The content was cleared, digitised and metadata produced by the JISC Managing Agent and Advisory Service (MAAS), which is a partnership service of the British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC) and the Open University.
The collections (10 in all by summer 2003) contain a broad range of material, and the films will be of interest to teachers and students in many different study areas, from medicine and the life sciences through archaeology, media studies, performing arts and music to philosophy, history and the social sciences.
The first release of Education Media OnLine offers films from five of the ten collections: Educational and Television Films (ETV), Films of Scotland, Anglia Television Library, Sheffield University Learning Media Unit Collection and The Trials of Alger Hiss (1980). Films and associated materials will be added to the service on a regular basis in the coming months. Users at subscribing institutions can join an email update service that will keep them up-to-date with developments.
More about what encoding standards were used, from Greg Newton-Ingham (MAAS); and how the field testing was carried out, from Richard Loup (EDINA),
by Helen Chisholm, EDINA
The JISC has agreed to support the extension of Digimap into the FE sector, from 1 January 2003 until 31 December 2004.
Digimap is an EDINA service that has delivered Ordnance Survey (OS) map data to UK Higher Education since January 2000. To date, users in HE have viewed over one million screen maps and have downloaded about 3m worth of data. Data is available either to download to use with appropriate application software such as GIS or CAD, or as maps generated online by Digimap. Digimap allows users to view and print maps of any location in Great Britain at a series of predefined scales.
Information about the Digimap service and how to arrange access to the service is available from http://edina.ac.uk/digimap/
The subscription cost will be 605 plus VAT per FE College per year. The agreement will run from January 2003 through December 2004, and subscribers will be expected to commit for the two years. Colleges will register using the same procedures as the current HE arrangement. Colleges will also require an annual OS Educational Copyright Licence that costs 145 pounds plus VAT (this is reduced to 88 plus VAT for sixth form colleges).
It is EDINAs intention to treat a subscribing FE college in the same manner as a newly subscribed HE institution. Colleges will be registered by the EDINA Helpdesk and will be required to nominate a site representative who will be strongly recommended to attend the relevant EDINA Digimap training courses. Colleges will have access to the EDINA training days and will be trained along with HE institution representatives.
If you are interested in subscribing to the Digimap service or would like further information please contact the EDINA Helpdesk by e-mail on email@example.com or by phone on 0131 650 3302.
by Emma Sutton, EDINA
The data download part of the Developer Programme is operated by Ordnance Survey, accessible to Digimap users through the Advanced Services page within Digimap. EDINA will be providing support for users of the Developer Programme and any queries about it should be directed to EDINA: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0131 650 3302.
by Helen Chisholm, EDINA
Eligibility has been widened for subscription to the enhanced version of the Statistical Accounts of Scotland. UK HE and FE institutions outside Scotland can now obtain access. The new subscription rates are based on the JISC banding of UK tertiary education institutes:
|A-C||300 plus VAT|
|C-F||200 plus VAT|
|G-J||75 plus VAT|
From 31 March 2003, the ability to search free text will only be available from within the subscription service. This is intended to increase subscription numbers in order to fund the continuation and development of the service. Users of the standard service will be able to navigate using the lists of parishes, or the tables of contents and indexes published in the original Accounts.
Connection via Z39.50 to some EDINA bibliographic services is now available to users of EndNote software through connection files.
Now users can manually configure Z39.50 clients using access details of the "Z targets" recently published on the EDINA web site.
The resources from EDINA available directly via Z39.50 are Art Abstracts, Art Index Retrospective, CAB Abstracts, EconLit, Ei Compendex, Inspec, MLA International Bibliography, PAIS International and UPDATE.
This information is particularly useful for configuring cross-searching portal software. EDINA is currently seeking to make this process even easier through, for example, the use of MetaLib's Knowledge Base.
The full details can be found linked from http://edina.ac.uk/support/z-targets.shtml
by Moira Massey, EDINA
EDINA and MIMAS are working together in a major new JISC project called JORUM+, which has been mainly funded under Strand B of the JISCs Exchange for Learning (X4L) Programme. The X4L Programme is seeking to explore the re-purposing of JISC-funded and other content suitable for use in learning and teaching.
The JORUM+ project is providing repository facilities for the X4L content-producing projects, and support facilities for the project staff. The data centres are also providing provisional collecting facilities for JISC 5/99 learning content while undertaking a scoping study for the JISC long-term learning materials repository. More details about JORUM+ are available at:
The JORUM+ team includes consultants from the Centre for Educational Technology Interoperability Standards (CETIS). For more information about CETIS, please see:
The repository systems available to X4L and 5/99 project staff via the JORUM+ website are intraLibrary from Intrallect and Xtensis from Xtensis eLearning Ltd. For further details about these products, please see:
For more information about JORUM+, please contact Moira Massey, Project Manager (Moira.Massey@ed.ac.uk) or Sarah McConnell, Project Officer (Sarah.McConnell@ed.ac.uk).
by Christine Rees, EDINA
EDINA, in partnership with Edinburgh University Computing Services, is carrying out a one-year project to investigate and implement a pilot Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) for higher and further education. The TIES project (Technologies for Information Environment Security) is one of a number being funded by the JISC to give experience of technologies based on open standards in authentication and authorisation.
Access to electronic information by the UK education community depends upon the provision of a secure environment and the first application of the pilot infrastructure will be to test an authentication service based on digital certificates to manage access to the various licensed resources that form part of the JISC Information Environment.
A number of possible solutions for providing an authorisation service will also be investigated, including Shibboleth, which is being developed as part of the Internet 2 Middle-ware initiative. The problems of PKI deployment and use will be considered in the contexts of the user, the institution, and the JISC Data Service Provider.
The project includes a number of Associate Partner institutions of different types (HE/FE), sizes, geographical spread, and technical resource to test the practicality of deployment across various parts of the HE/FE sector. In addition, the project will work with a publisher to explore the issues in implementing certificate verification software in a commercial environment.
For more information about the TIES project please contact Peter Burnhill, EDINA Director. And remember to visit the TIES project web site.
by Greg Newton-Ingham,Head of the MAAS Advisory Service
The content delivered through Education Media OnLine uses two encoding standards to ensure the widest possible opportunity for use, regardless of the type of computer: Windows Media Player and Quicktime.
Manufacturers supply Macs and PCs with one of these products with new machines. As a result, there should be no need for users to install or configure additional software in order to use Education Media OnLine.
Here is an overview of the standards chosen:
QuickTime is a cross-platform architecture for media playback. The video is encoded using the Sorenson version 2 codec supported from QuickTime version 3 or above. This version has been available for a number of years; at the time of going to press, the latest QuickTime version is version 6.
There have been a number of different versions of the Windows operating systems, most of which support the Windows Media Player 7 codec. Systems prior to Windows 98 will not play back Windows Media Version 7 content. Windows 98 itself requires a service release to install the correct codecs. From Windows 98 onwards almost all the operating systems released (ME, 2000 and XP) support Windows Media version 7 as standard. The only version which requires a software download to be installed is Windows NT.
Maas is encoding content to near-VHS quality. This emphasis on quality does mean that older machines may have problems with playback. However, the standards chosen have been selected to aid playback by using old versions of software, which do not require the latest machines for adequate performance. If you are in any doubt as to whether your technology is adequate to run Education Media OnLine, we would encourage you to test your machine by running the application. In our tests we have seen acceptable performance on Pentium 233 level machines.
We would welcome feedback. Please email all suggestions for new content to email@example.com
by Richard Loup, EDINA Multimedia Services Development Officer
EDINA prepared the ground for the launch of Education Media OnLine with two phases of field-testing last year.
The first trial, in October, targeted two small groups of institutions in the UK HE and FE communities one group was very experienced (both academically and technically) in the use of film and video; the other had made little or no use of these media.
Unsurprisingly, the former were much more confident about dealing with the procedural and infrastructural issues raised by a service that offers to download large media files direct to users. Both groups made useful recommendations on how to make the user interface more friendly, all of which have been built into the service where possible.
In November, hundreds of academic-support staff in universities and colleges all over the UK were invited to evaluate Education Media OnLine. Again, the majority of respondents were confident they could rise to the challenge of the download service. Several institutions are already actively engaged with trying to embed films and video into the teaching environment - via streaming from local servers, for example - and, again, there was widespread enthusiasm for Education Media OnLine's potential. Further refinements to the user interface were also made thanks to suggestions from the respondents.
EDINA would like to thank all those who spent their valuable time testing and commenting on Education Media OnLine.
EDINA hopes that subscribers will continue to provide feedback on its pros and cons, so that the service can keep being improved. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kirsten Thomlinson joined EDINA as User Support Assistant in January, having recently arrived in Edinburgh from her native New Zealand. She has a MA in history and a background in the library and archive professions.
EDINA will be exhibiting at:
JISC-RSC Conference, 19 March 2003, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Birmingham.
Total Library Solutions 2003, 26 March 2003, NEC (Hall 10), Birmingham (in conjunction with the Internet Librarian 2003 conference).
Full list of events.
EDINA, based at Edinburgh University Data Library, is a JISC-funded national datacentre. It offers the UK tertiary education and research community networked access to a library of data, information and research resources. All EDINA services are free of charge at the point of use. For information on institutional subscription fees, visit the EDINA web site, or contact us by email.
EDINA services are:
Helpdesk: Helen McVey, Paula Cuccurullo, Stuart Macdonald, Kirsten Thomlinson and Andrew Bevan
Helen Chisholm (EDINA User Support Manager)
Alison Bayley (Manager, EDINA National Services)
Peter Burnhill (Director of EDINA)
Tel: 0131 650 3302
Fax: 0131 650 3308
Many EDINA services require the completion of a licence agreement before those services can be made available to users. Free 30-day trials are available for most of these services.
Other services are free of charge, with or without a licence agreement.
Please see the EDINA web site for details of the requirements of individual services: http://edina.ac.uk/access
EDINA Newsline is published four times a year by the Edinburgh University Data Library. Suggestions and comments on Newsline may be sent to email@example.com.
The next issue of Newsline will appear in Spring 2003.
Editor: Paul Milne