CALIFORNIA DIGITAL LIBRARY UNVEILS ADVANCES IN ACCESSING SCHOLARLY INFORMATION
New features including additional "clickable" paths
from searches for journal articles to the online full content of journals have
just been added to the California Digital Library in its mid-year release.
For the 315,000 scholars, students and staff of the University
of California, these enhancements help integrate the traditionally separate
tasks of discovery and use of information.
The California Digital Library (CDL) Web site and many of its
resources, including digitized collections of photographs, manuscripts, and
other archival materials from institutions around the state held in the Online
Archive of California, is also available to the public.
The CDL, which partners with the nine UC campuses in a continuing
commitment to apply innovative technology to the management of scholarly information,
opened to the public last January.
As a digital "co-library," complementing the physical
libraries of the University of California system, the CDL uses technology to
efficiently share materials held by UC, to provide greater and easier access
to digital content, and to join with researchers in developing new tools and
innovations for scholarly communication.
The July release of the new features represents a step forward
in University of California President Richard C. Atkinson's vision of "a
future when our libraries, at the press of a button, can come to us, wherever
we are, whenever we wish."
For instance, a patron may be interested in new critical
studies of African literature and finds a useful citation in the Modern
Language Association's "MLA Bibliography" journal article database -
available via the California Digital Library - that indexes more than 4,000
journals. She now can make a single additional click to an electronic version
of the article in those increasing number of cases where the CDL subscribes to
the publisher's complete online content.
Continuing the example, a direct link from the "MLA Bibliography"
citation to Callaloo, one of 45 premier scholarly journals from Project Muse
at Johns Hopkins University Press, would allow the patron to read scholarly
articles and poetry, or view photography and art, all at her desktop. The
ability to click to the electronic version of an article was first made available
from databases that the California Digital Library locally mounted, primarily
in medicine, science and technology. The capability has now been expanded
through databases located at vendor sites, especially in the humanities and
social sciences fields of music, art, architecture and anthropology.
Similarly, because of CDL's collaboration with vendors of
online abstracting and indexing databases, a patron who searches a vendor's
database and finds a citation to an article that is available only in print
will be able with one click to discover where in the UC system the journal
A goal being considered for future development will allow
the patron to make one additional click to have a photocopy of the article
delivered to his nearest library or to his doorstep. This would be an extension
of the "Request" feature for books found in CDL's Melvyl® Catalog
of UC-owned print and audio-visual materials.
Several other enhancements to the California Digital Library
will be a boon to researchers.
Web site enhancements provide more convenient access to many different
digital collections and services, including a new "Reference Shelf"
selection. Searching or browsing the CDL's collection of digital resources,
including more than 2,400 electronic journals, more than 50 journal article
databases, and 3000 inventories or "finding aids" to archival collections,
has been streamlined. Search results now clearly indicate when a resource is
available to the public. Searching for exact titles is now possible, and pop-up
help windows are consistently one click away. For several locally mounted resources,
a single search will retrieve results from multiple files, saving the patron
the need to re-enter the search.
Many of the July enhancements of the California Digital Library
are the result of suggestions from faculty and students, campus librarians,
and members of the public. Soliciting these comments and working with
advisorygroups and the digital library and computer science research
communities are anticipated to lead to regular six-month releases of the CDL.
More information can be found at <http://www.cdlib.org/>.
Editors: For additional information on the California Digital
Library,please call John Ober, CDL assistant director for education and
applied research, (510) 987-0174; or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information about the California Digital Library may
be found at the CDL Web site, <http://www.cdlib.org>.
For information about other UC technology innovations, contact
Terry Colvin, senior public information representative in the UC Office of the
President, at (510) 987-9198; or contact him at email@example.com.