The Scout Report - October 4, 1996

October 4, 1996

A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Science Department, University of Wisconsin

A Project of the InterNIC

The Scout Report is a weekly publication offering a selection of new and newly discovered Internet resources of interest to researchers and educators, the InterNIC's primary audience. However, everyone is welcome to subscribe to one of the mailing lists (plain text or HTML). Subscription instructions are included at the end of each report.

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In This Issue:

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

Research & EducationSan Francisco Fine Arts Museum Thinker Imagebase--60,000 images online
Less graphical entrance:
The San Francisco Fine Arts Museum has taken the concept of an art museum on the Internet to a new level by making the staggering total of over 60,000 digitized images from its collection available for viewing. This is far and away the largest collection of exhibits of any art museum on the Internet. Users can access the imagebase through a simple search interface that allows Boolean AND/OR and truncation searching. There is not a great deal of information about the images--as the museum explains, this is an imagebase, not a database. The sheer number of images available make this a site that other museums should look at closely, and that art lovers in the net community will certainly appreciate. Note that, unfortunately, the search engine is not particularly sophisticated, and records are not split into fields. A search on "Daumier," for example, will turn up images of Daumier as well as by him. Users are encouraged to read the instructions on searching files for more information.
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"The Impact of Electronic Journals on Scholarly Communication: A Citation Analysis"
ASCII text version:
"The Impact of Electronic Journals on Scholarly Communication: A Citation Analysis," a refereed article by Stephen P. Harter of the University of Indiana, appeared in the Public-Access Computer Systems Review, (Vol. 7, No. 5), and is available in HTML and ASCII text. It "reports hard empirical data on the impact of the first wave of e-journals on the scholarly communities they serve. It assesses the extent to which scholars and researchers are aware of, are influenced by, and build their own work upon research published in e-journals. It does this by examining the artifacts of scholarly communication--the journal article and the references it makes." The study, based on citation data collected in February 1996, concludes that "the great majority of scholarly, peer-reviewed e-journals have had essentially no impact on scholarly communication in their respective fields. Only eight of the 39 e-journals studied have been cited ten or more times over their lifetimes. Given that eleven of the e-journals have print counterparts, these findings are especially telling."
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Chemicool Periodic Table
Less graphical:
The Chemicool Periodic Table, provided by a student at MIT, is a simple yet elegant site that allows users to click on their element of choice, or type in its name or symbol. Element names are color coded (solid, liquid, gas, as well as synthetic or naturally occurring) and information is provided in ten categories including general (atomic number and weight), states, energies, appearance, reactions, and abundance, to name a few. Also available is a unit conversion calculator (only from the more graphical site).
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Exploring Ancient World Cultures--Evansville University

Exploring Ancient World Cultures, provided by Evansville University, "is an introductory, on-line, college-level 'textbook' of ancient world cultures, constructed around a series of cultural pages consisting of: The Ancient Near East, Ancient India, Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Early Islam, and Medieval Europe." Each home page may contain essays by subject specialists, an anthology of readings from the period, a chronology, bibliographic resources, hypertext links to related sites, and computer graded quizzes. Interested users can also navigate the site by topic across cultures. A highlight of the site is the ability it gives the user to view the entire chronology, or to click on a year and culture and then another culture, in order to compare cross-cultural developments at the same time period. The site is a work in progress that promises maps and images in the near future.
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MathMol Hypermedia Textbook--Mathematics and Molecules for K-12 Students
Less graphical entrance:
The New York University Scientific Visualization Laboratory has created a cyber textbook for elementary (grade 3-5), middle, and secondary students. It is designed to connect molecules and mathematics, and contains elementary sections on matter, energy, and water, and secondary sections on mass, volume, density, 2- and 3-dimensional geometry, and mathematical equations. The whole "textbook" is quite graphical, but the secondary section is particularly so, making use of frames, VRML, and interactive questions and answers (accompanied by an online calculator). Simple content is conveyed graphically and imaginatively at this site. Users with slower connections should be patient, however.
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Perspectives: A Mental Health Magazine from Mental Health Net
Mental Health Net:
Perspectives, provided by Mental Health Net, is a quarterly online magazine devoted to mental health. It features short (usually less than 2,000 word) articles about all aspects of its topic. The present issue (Vol. 1, No. 4) contains articles on Prozac, loneliness, and managed care, among others. It also includes a regular column on "Being Human." Archives are available at the site, as are submission guidelines. Mental Health Net is a well known "comprehensive guide to mental health online," with pointers to over 4,000 resources in the field, arranged by topic and resource type.
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U of Michigan Library Economic Bulletin Board Data Gopher to Suspend Updates
The University of Michigan Library, which has downloaded a subset of the Department of Commerce's Economic Bulletin Board data and made it freely available on its EBB gopher since 1992, will suspend its updating of these files on October 9, 1996. The gopher, which contains hundreds of files on the economy, energy, foreign trade, business, and industry, has long been a staple source for economic and social science researchers. Data from the Economic Bulletin Board is available via fee-based subscription from the Commerce Department's STAT-USA web site, which contains a user-friendly interface and software that provides for site licenses for large clusters of IP addresses. STAT-USA is also free to participating Federal Depository Libraries. The University of Michigan Library, which began the service before most federal agencies had access to the Internet, is presently considering the merits of archiving the existing gopher.
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US State Department Dispatch Magazine
Country Background Notes Available by Email
The Department of State and University of Illinois at Chicago Libraries now distribute via email full texts of two US Department of State publications that provide key official information on US foreign policy. The United States Department of State Dispatch, supplied via the DOSDISP list, is the weekly magazine of official US policy and is prepared by the Office of Public Communication. It includes key speeches by the President and Secretary of State and other senior officials as well as regular listings of US treaty actions.
Country Background Notes, distributed on the DOSBACK list, are updated periodically and include information on US bilateral relations with foreign countries and on their governments, political conditions, and foreign relations. You can expect the DOSBACK list to generate about 3-4 email messages per month. Via DOSBACK you will receive the full-text version of newly released Background Notes. Archives of these two lists are also available at the Department of State Foreign Affairs Network (DOSFAN) gopher at the University of Illinois-Chicago. To subscribe send email to:
For Dispatch Magazine:
In the body of the message type: SUBSCRIBE DOSDISP YOURNAME
For State Department Background Notes:
In the body of the message type: SUBSCRIBE DOSBACK YOURNAME
[Note: Originally reviewed as a gopher site; gopher site has been replaced by web site.]
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General Interest

Forbes'400 Richest People in America
Forbes 400 List Generator:
How Forbes Chooses:
From Bill Gates ($18 billion) to Oprah Winfrey ($415 million), Forbes Magazine has made its annual 400 Richest People in America feature available on the web. Users can view the list by worth or alphabetically. In addition, there is a Rich List Generator that allows the list to be searched by net worth, home state, age, industry, and marital status. Minimum requirements to make the list increased from $340 million last year to $415 million this year. Explanation of list methodology is also available.
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Transcripts of Past Presidential Debates
Commission on Presidential Debates:
The highlight of the Commission on Presidential Debates web site is the full-text transcripts of presidential debates from 1960, and 1976 to the present. Vice presidential debates from 1984 through 1992 are also included. The site is interesting in that the transcripts stand as testimony to what was really said in these debates, not allowing users to see how the candidates looked or what "impression" they gave. The site is searchable. Also at the CPD web site is information about participating organizations, the upcoming 1996 debates, and DebateWatch, a CPD initiative to "get American voters talking about the candidates and issues."
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UN High Commissioner for Refugees
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has recently debuted its web page, which is highlighted by country-specific information about the refugee situation, back issues of Refugees Magazine,, and selected documents from UNHCR's Refworld Database, including full-text background studies on selected countries and refugee statistics. Also at the site are news briefings, a section on information for teachers, and a poignant photo essay depicting refugee life.
[Back to Contents] Television Network
At the heart of A&E Television Network's Biography web site is a searchable and browsable online collection of 15,000 cross-referenced biographies (provided by the Cambridge Biographical Encyclopedia). The site also provides the full text of selected opening chapters and reviews from best selling biographies, a quiz and anagram game, chatboards, and schedules of upcoming episodes of the Biography television program.
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Atlantic Monthly Poetry Pages
The Atlantic Monthly Poetry Pages are "a multimedia feature devoted to poets and poetry, both classic and contemporary." The highlight of the site is Atlantic Monthly Poetry Online, a collection of poetry from the online edition of the magazine. At present, over 70 poems by more than 50 contemporary poets are available. In addition, there is an article by Dana Gioia entitled "Can Poetry Matter?," three Robert Frost poems from the August 1915 edition, excerpts from Dante's _Inferno_, and information on Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, as well as poems by Emerson, Longfellow, Lowell, and Whittier that appeared in the first issue of the magazine in November 1857. Many of the classic poems are available in RealAudio and .wav format, as well as text.
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NFL.COM--"Are You Ready for Some Football?"
NFL.COM will satisfy even the most voracious football fan's appetite for information. A highlight of the site is the complete statistical breakout of each game played, including a play-by-play account that details the play, the tackler, the gain or loss of yardage, and penalties when they happen. These play-by-plays, along with starting lineups for every game and extensive statistics about that game, can be found by clicking on your favorite team's name, the score of the game you're interested in, and then "Gamebook." In addition, the site contains feature articles, previews, injury reports, and extensive team and individual statistics. It is one of the most comprehensive professional football sites on the Internet.
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Travel-Ease--Leisure Travel List
Travel-Ease is a new discussion list focusing on leisure travel for individuals and families. Participation by leisure travelers of all ages is encouraged. Travel-Ease is not intended to be a forum for business travelers. However, membership by business travelers is encouraged as they likely have many valuable suggestions that they have learned and carried over to their leisure trips.
To subscribe send email to:
In the body of the message type:
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Net Tools

Webreview Renews Publication
Webreview, the ezine devoted to "keeping you well informed about the trends, techniques and technologies that are at the leading edge of the web," has returned to the web after suspending publication in May. Now provided by Miller Freeman, Inc. and Songline Studios, the site contains Webreview articles and also selected articles from "Web Techniques" Magazine, a print publication aimed at helping professional web developers. For Internauts interested in following the leading edge of web developments in audio-video, conferencing, building graphical web sites, and new client-server applications, the return of Webreview is much welcomed.
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TechKnow Times Newsletter
TechKnow Times(tm) specializes in selecting and synthesizing information about Internet resources. Its goal is to make information access as simple and as quick as possible. It covers news related to Internet and online marketing, World Wide Web sites and design, and online technology and culture, all drawn from a wide range of print and electronic sources. TechKnow Times(tm) is giving online entrepreneurs the information they need to accomplish their goals.
To subscribe send email to:
In the body of the message type:
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Cool Central--The "cool site" site to end all "cool site" sites
Cool Central, provided by Athenia Associates, has raised the "cool site" site to an art form. Here, with a Javascript interface pop-up menu, users can find a "cool site" of the moment, hour, day, and week. This should satisfy the "cool site" fix of almost everyone who has one. Quality varies, but does tend to increase as the time range specified by the user increases.
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Copyright Susan Calcari, 1996. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the Scout Report provided the copyright notice and this paragraph is preserved on all copies. The InterNIC provides information about the Internet to the US research and education community under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation: NCR-9218742. The Government has certain rights in this material.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Wisconsin - Madison, the National Science Foundation, AT&T, or Network Solutions, Inc.

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