Today the number of resources available on the Internet is immense. Companies, organisations, educational institutions, communities and individual people all serve as information providers for the electronic Internet community. This sharing of resources and information is an example of societal cooperation on a grand scale and has fostered professional and personal communications throughout the world. Electronic resources on the Internet manifest themselves in numerous flavours and categories.
The term Electronic journals refer to any journal, magazine, newsletter or type of electronic serial publication which is available over the Internet. Electronic journals, also called “e-journals”, are those journals and newsletters that are prepared and distributed electronically. With the Internet becoming a fast and easy mode of communication several traditional journals are now being published both on the Web and in print. Current issues or content lists for most of the journals are available on the Web or distributed to subscribers as e-mail text messages. Publication of electronic journals is faster and economical and offers quicker access to desired articles. Table of contents, as well as full text of journals, are now available on the web. Electronic journals could be electronic versions of print journals, electronic versions only or journals accessible free on the Internet. Some of the important journals available in full-text in the web are:
- D-Lib Magazine.
- Ariadne: a print and Web magazine of Internet issues for librarians and information specialists.
- Examples of Indian Journals freely available on the web are:
- Indian Journal of community medicine (full text)
- Indian journal of Pharmacology (full text)
Electronic conferences, variably known as electronic forums, electronic user group, listservs, discussion groups, form an ideal tool for collaborative or cooperative learning. Electronic-conferencing enables researchers and scholars to interact with each other and share information and ideas without the constraints of time and location.
Electronic Conferencing can be synchronous (real time) or asynchronous and includes (but is not limited to): discussion boards, chat rooms, instant messaging, e-mail, and white boards. In “real-time” synchronous conferences all participants communicate at the same pre-arranged time. (NetMeeting is one such program from Microsoft). Web conferences also take place in an asynchronous environment where participants logon to the conference site when convenient and respond to comments and concerns of other participants. Usenet newsgroups, also called bulletin boards, are e-mail conferencing systems in which messages are posted to Usenet sites or thousands of newsgroups worldwide. Millions of people around the world regularly read newsgroup messages, following their favourite topics of interest. New newsgroups are added and old ones are deleted every day. Listservs are also called mailing lists or discussion lists. These are accessed by subscription. A LISTSERV mailing list is handled by computer programs such as LISTSERV. It distributes messages from any member(s) to the whole group thus enabling communication within a large group of people. When e-mail is addressed to a LISTSERV mailing list, it is automatically broadcasted to everyone in the list. To subscribe to a listsery conference, one generally sends an e-mail message to the computer that maintains the subscription list. After subscribing, the subscriber receives a message that includes detailed instructions, commands and options available. There are more than 18,000 active listservs.
Listserves in the field of library and information science are:
- Digital Library Research Group.
- IASLIC (Indian Associaton of Special Libraries and Information Centers) List.
- NCSI (National Center for Science Information) Lis-Forum.
- NMLIS (New Millenium LIS Professionals)
- ARL (Association of Research Libraries) E-Journal Forum.
- IFLA General Discussion list for the IFLA community.
- Open Source Systems for Libraries (OSS4LIB) Discussion list.
- WWWISIS Discussion List
Online-Courseware & Tutorials:
The web-based educational tutorials or guides are online courses that offer courses in various subjects online. These online courses provide distance learning irrespective of geographic boundaries. They also offer a higher degree of interactivity, flexibility and benefit of self-pace to the users. The online courses are the best example of technological, multimedia and instructional innovations designed to provide computer based training to the users over the Internet. The courseware available on the Internet varies to a great extent, in terms of their coverage and quality. It could be basic lecture notes and lecture support material to the integrated and highly interactive tutorial packages. Some of these are tutorials focused on developing practical skills that can be applied immediately. These are electronic resources using all features and facilities offered by the new technology like graphics, animations and images etc. Institutions of higher learning are actively supporting the development and implementation of these computer-assisted instructions and multimedia courseware.
Patents & Standards:
Patents are specifications concerning the design or manufacture of products and processes that are protected and secured for the exclusive profit of the designer or inventor for a limited number of years that varies in different countries from fifteen years to twenty years. The department that controls the registration of patents in a country is known as the Patent Office. Most, Patent Office, provide full-text of patents registered in their respective countries through their web sites. Information on patent laws and filing procedures of various Patent offices located worldwide is also available on the web.
Some important patent-related sites are:
- NIC Patent Cell – http://pk2id.delhi.nic.in/ sera.html
- US Patents & Trademark Office – http://www.uspto.gov/main/ patents.htm
- World Intellectual Property Organisation – http://www.wipo.org/
Standards are agreed on targets for performance, or an accepted format for the operation of a system. Standards are issued by various national and international organisations like BIS, ANSI, ISO, IEEE, and NIST. The information regarding these is available on the Internet. Some of these websites are accessible free while others require a subscription on a pay-per-transaction basis.
Information regarding various national and international standardisation activities and services is also available in online.
In India, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), an independent national body funded by the Government of India, is the largest originator of standards. Some websites providing information on standards are as follows:
- Bureau of Indian Standards — http://www.bis.org.in/
- British Standards Institution — http://www .b si- global .com/
- American National Standards Institute (ANSI) — http://www.ansi.org/
A preprint is a draft of a scientific research paper before peer review. There might be a succession of revised drafts, all preprints, until the final accepted draft. As peer review takes quite some time (several months to one year), preprints are the medium of choice to communicate current results within a scientific community. Even after publication, the draft might be further revised to correct the errors. These post-publication drafts (including the official, accepted, published draft itself) are called post prints. E-prints are either preprints or post-prints in electronic form.
E-prints are scientific or technical documents circulated electronically to facilitate peer exchange and scientific advancement. In certain research areas, it is common to publish very specialised or technical results of temporary importance only as e-print without submitting them to a peer-reviewed journal as they are expected to become superseded during the review delay. It has benefits such as low cost, the reduction of time in announcing research findings, and the provision of access to all with Internet capability.
Ginsparg preprint archive (http://www.arXiv.org/) which started in 1991 has become a fundamental means of communication for a growing number of fields. It started with theoretical high-energy physics, later spread to other areas of physics, and now covers computer science and mathematics. A few examples of preprint servers in other disciplines are:
- Open Archives Initiative –http://www.openarchives.org/
- PubMed Central –http://www.pumedcentral.nih.gov/
- Chemistry Preprint Server –http://www.chemweb.com/preprint
Science News and Communication:
Science and research news are the important sources of information for scientists and technologists. Several core disciplines have periodicals devoted exclusively to science, research and technical news for a given discipline. Some of the important resources on science and research news include:
- UniSci: International Science News — http://unisci.com/
- Combigenix News — http://www.combigenix.com/news/
- The Scientific World Newslab –http://www.thescientificworld.com/
- Scoop! Personalised News Service– http://www.scoopdirect.com
A technical report is a document written by a researcher detailing the results of a project and submitted to the sponsor of that project. Typically, a technical report includes research about technical concepts. A technical report also follows a strict organisation. In this way, when other researchers read it, they can quickly locate the information that interests them the most. These reports are not published in journals or conference proceedings. These documents are now being made accessible over the Internet.
Electronic Thesis and Dissertations:
Electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) consist of masters or doctoral research work that is submitted or archived electronically by an institution, either on an internal network or on the web. Although a large number of doctoral theses are submitted to every university each year but they are kept as a closed-access collection. Several universities and institutions have already implemented electronic submission of doctoral dissertations under an international digital library initiative called “Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations” (NDLTD).
The Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) is a project initiated at the Virginia Tech University and funded by the SURA and SOLINET. The NDLTD promotes electronic submission of doctoral dissertations and makes them accessible to scholars the world over. The Virginia Tech has developed tools for students for submission of their electronic dissertations both as SGML and PDF. Shodhaganga is a project of INFILNET, Vidyanidhi, University of Mysore, is a digital library and e-Scholarship portal that aims to be a national repository for Indian theses and dissertations. IIT, Bombay, IIT, Kharagpur, and University of Hyderabad are also its members.
- Original Reference Article: Begum, S. S. (n.d.). A study on the usage of internet resources among engineering students in Madurai district. Alagappa University, Department of Library and Information Science.