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                             Free Pint
         "Helping 20,000 people use the Web for their work"
                    http://www.freepint.co.uk/
ISSN 1460-7239                                    15th April 1999 #36
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                            IN THIS ISSUE

                              EDITORIAL

                              BOOKSHELF
                http://www.freepint.co.uk/bookshelf

                         TIPS AND TECHNIQUES
            "Cataloging the Internet: The Dublin Core"
                        by Jennifer R. Davis

                          FEATURE ARTICLE
    "Idiots' guide to chemistry information resources on the Web"
                           by Nigel Lees

                        FREE PINT FEEDBACK
                      "Newspapers on the Web"
                    "Online Biographic Checks"

                        CONTACT INFORMATION

              ONLINE VERSION WITH ACTIVATED HYPERLINKS
            http://www.freepint.co.uk/issues/150499.htm

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** REGISTER FOR SILICON.COM AND GET A FREE REPORT WORTH 295 POUNDS **

Register FREE for Silicon.com (http://www.silicon.com) the leading
online IT TV news service this week and you'll receive a free
video CD report worth 295 pounds.
Also check out the latest contractor and permanent IT jobs at Silicon
 - register free today at http://www.silicon.com

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                             EDITORIAL

Finding information about using the Web effectively is tricky at the
best of times. You just want to find a readable book that answers all 
your questions, tells you about new resources, and reassures you that 
you're not missing anything Web-wise.  For this reason I'm delighted 
to announce the launch of the "Free Pint Bookshelf".

In each issue of Free Pint we will be featuring a quality 
Web-related book we have discovered. We start in this issue with a
review of a super new book called "The Extreme Searcher's Guide to Web 
Search Engines" - a must-read if you regularly search the Web. You can 
find out more about this and other great books on the Web site at ...

                http://www.freepint.co.uk/bookshelf


Ever been frustrated with the results from a Web search?  Haven't
we all.  Well read this issue's Tips article about an initiative to
try to improve the results we receive.

The Feature article gives an excellent insight into the many Chemistry
resources available on the Web. If you know someone in this field who
doesn't subscribe to Free Pint then now may be the time to forward 
this copy to them.

Please let us know if you enjoy this issue of Free Pint, and don't 
hesitate to tell us your likes or dislikes.  My direct email address
is william@freepint.co.uk, and addresses for the rest of the team 
are in the Contact section at the end, so please get in touch .

Kind regards,
William

William Hann BSc MIInfSc, Managing Editor
e: william@freepint.co.uk
w: http://www.freepint.co.uk/
t: +44 (0)1784 455435
f: +44 (0)1784 455436
                                                 (c) Willco Ltd. 1999
                                             http://www.willco.co.uk/

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    *** HIGH QUALITY NEWS AND BUSINESS INFORMATION ON CD-ROM ***
From The Independent to The Telegraph, the Financial Times to The
Economist, CD-ROMs from Financial Times Electronic Publishing offer
access to essential information from key publications. These huge
databases enable you to gather information on a company, research a 
country's political situation or even look up theatre or book reviews. 
If you would like more information or would like to request a free 
trial call 01223 271260 or e-mail ian.williams@chadwyck.co.uk

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    >>>  ADVERTISE HERE TO REACH 20,000 KNOWLEDGE WORKERS  <<<
               http://www.freepint.co.uk/advert.htm
         Email: ads@freepint.co.uk  Tel: +44 (0)1784 455435

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                        FREE PINT BOOKSHELF
                http://www.freepint.co.uk/bookshelf
       "The Extreme Searcher's Guide to Web Search Engines"
                      Reviewed by Nick Lloyd

"This recently published guide to internet search engines by renowned
internet information expert Randolph (Ran) Hock sets a new benchmark
for the serious study of searching the web using both established and
lesser known search tools. Written in a clear and accessible style
and making full use of accompanying illustrations to illustrate many
of the search examples he writes about, this book definitely means 
business, containing much that is new and useful to both the web 
novice and the more seasoned internet searcher ... [continued]"

         ... read Nick's full review on the Web site at ...

          http://www.freepint.co.uk/bookshelf/extreme.htm

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Find out about the other great Web-related books we're reading on the
Free Pint Bookshelf at ...

                http://www.freepint.co.uk/bookshelf

... and we welcome your comments if you have read any of these books.
If you think your Web-related book should appear on the Bookshelf 
then email bookshelf@freepint.co.uk.

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                   *** TELEWORKING DIRECTORY ***

There is a growing range of information about this new way of
organising work. This new book from the British Library lists books
and journals, internet resources, and relevant organisations. It will
benefit teleworkers, employment advisory bodies and librarians. ISBN
0-7123-0851-2. Price 29 pounds (UK postage included). For more
information tel:+44(0)171 412 7471, e-mail: peter.sherwood@bl.uk.

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                  QUICK TIP ... INTERNET TRAINING

Your "Speaker's Toolkit" should include a copy of a compression 
utility like WinZip on floppy disk. You never know when you may need
to transfer a large file or presentation from one machine to another.

                              William Hann ~ http://www.willco.co.uk/

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                         TIPS AND TECHNIQUES

            "Cataloging the Internet: The Dublin Core"
                        by Jennifer R. Davis

For anyone who has ever engaged in a fruitless search of the Internet
and muttered to themselves, "There must be a better way", there is
good news. Librarians and computer scientists have mobilized to
organize the unruly body of knowledge known as the World Wide Web.
Based on the same principles as the card catalog and Online Public
Access Catalogs (a library's online card catalog), the idea is to
define each web site through the use of metatags so that information
may be more easily retrieved by users.

A metatag is a unit of information that is embedded into the HTML
code. Although the user of the web page cannot see the metatag, the
machine accessing the HTML code can. In this way, search engines,
browsers and Web crawlers can more effectively search for documents
based on their description. For example, the title of this page could
be represented as follows:

<META NAME="DC.Title" CONTENT="Cataloging the Internet: The Dublin
Core">.

Anyone searching for The Dublin Core would receive this page on their
hit list - as simple as that.

Now, what exactly is the Dublin Core? Because the Internet is a global
phenomenon, it is very important to have international consensus about
how information is to be cataloged.  The need for a resource
description framework became clear several years ago, and in 1995 the
Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), located in Dublin, Ohio, USA,
initiated a Metadata (a unit of data that describes another piece of
data) Workshop, sponsored by the National Center for Supercomputing.

The group, which consisted of experts from the fields of library
science, computer science, and text encoding, met to begin discussions
about developing a method of description for resources on the
Internet.  Thus the concept of the Dublin Core was born. Basically the
Dublin Core is a set of 15 metatags that make up that page's
bibliographic record.

The set of 15 metatags that comprise the Dublin Core are:

1.  TITLE
2.  CREATOR
3.  SUBJECT: Keywords
3.  SUBJECT: Controlled vocabulary
3.  SUBJECT: Classification
4.  DESCRIPTION
5.  PUBLISHER
6.  CONTRIBUTOR
7.  DATE
8.  TYPE (Category of the resource)
9.  FORMAT (Data representation of the resource, MIME type)
10. IDENTIFIER: URL (Location of the document. Starts with 'http://')
10. IDENTIFIER (String or number used to uniquely identify the
resource described by this metadata)
11. SOURCE (Unique string or number for a printed or digital work from
which this resource is derived)
12. LANGUAGE of the content of the resource described
13. RELATION
14. COVERAGE (Spatial and/or temporal characteristics of the resource)
15. RIGHTS (Link to a copyright notice etc.)

As you can see, the list reads very much like a traditional card
catalog entry found in any library.  This set of metatags is poised
to emerge as a very important standard on the Internet.  The World
Wide Web Consortium, a group that is concerned with the
standardization of information on the Internet, fully endorses the
Dublin Core.

The Dublin Core is not only useful information for web site
developers. If there is a standard use of this set of metatags, then
search engine interfaces will be modified to look and act like a
library catalog. Users will have the option of doing keyword and
subject searches, as well as searching by any of the metatags.  Gone
will be the days of formulating a search on a wing and a prayer -
+Dublin +Core -Ireland.

Of course, the onus of the responsibility for inclusion of the Dublin
Core on each web page will fall on individual web site developers.
However, the metatag set is a skill easily mastered, and really only
requires that the owner of each page go over the descriptors with the
developer so that the correct information is included.

Metatags, specifically the Dublin Core, represent a huge step forward
for the Internet. The current situation does not allow for efficient
searching; often a search will turn up nothing when the user KNOWS the
information is out there, or the user is inundated with thousands of
hits which represent completely useless information.  If the Internet
is made to resemble a global library, with millions of easily
retrievable holdings, only then may we truly call this era the
Information Age.

The image of the library will be transformed from that of a big room
with books and computers to that of an environment where a member of
any community, anywhere on the globe, can access the Internet and
become initiated into the world of electronic information access.

This is not to say that there will never be another frustrated user
out there.  Technology has never obviated the need for librarians, and
metatags will not completely replace the need for help desks and FAQs.
Nor will every web page cited necessarily contain relevant information
for the user.  However, the process will be considerably more
streamlined than it now is.  And if someone across the globe posts a
page today with information you need, it will be immediately available
to you, via a quick and easy metatag search.

To learn more about this exciting development, please see:
Dublin Core Metadata Initiative http://purl.oclc.org/dc/
The World Wide Web Consortium: Metadata and Resource Description
http://www.w3.org/Metadata/

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Jennifer Davis is Career Information and Technology Coordinator
at the Office of Career Services, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, USA.
http://www.bates.edu/admin/offices/career

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http://www.bvd.co.uk/freepint for more information.

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                QUICK TIP ... INTERNET CONSULTANCY

Ask for feedback all the time.  Every page of your site should have
an email link or direct access to a feedback form. If you ask your 
users to report likes, dislikes or problems, then they will.

                              William Hann ~ http://www.willco.co.uk/

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           >>> PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT FREE PINT <<<

         Simply enter your colleague's email address at ...
                http://www.freepint.co.uk/reco.htm
              ... and we'll send them a sample issue

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                          FEATURE ARTICLE

    "Idiots' guide to chemistry information resources on the Web"
                           by Nigel Lees

Over the last few years one of the most common questions that we have
been asked in our Library and Information Centre has been "Where can I
find information on (include almost any subject here) on the Web?"

Many users of the LIC are familiar with the more traditional sources
of information such as printed guides and  manuals, journals, and
electronic sources such as CD-ROM and online databases, but are
uncertain when it comes to the Web.

As a result of this genuine and often heartfelt need to get started
on the Web, we produced a printed guide of approximately 70 sites to
help our users find information that will help them in their research.
Since we have access to excellent resources in chemistry and related
subjects, the information obtained from the Web is used to augment
these resources rather than replace them.  Obviously, users also
wanted this information to be free!

A feature of the guide is that many of the sites mentioned have
factual data or descriptive information on chemistry or chemicals.
Users also want information on the environment and chemical
business.  The guide has grown, therefore, to reflect the sorts of
enquiries that we receive on a day-to-day basis, such as for suppliers
of chemicals, physical property data, toxicological information,
chemical engineering and process chemistry, environmental chemistry,
market and business information on the chemical industry. I will
describe just a few of the most important aspects here.


1/ Web orientation

For those new to chemical information, it is useful to get orientated
by looking at some of the chemistry subject 'hub' sites or 'portals'.
These are sites that can lead to further subject information, are
often well organised and produced by respectable organisations such as
Learned Societies, universities and commercial companies.
These are often called one-stop-shops, a term which I think is
inaccurate as you often need to visit more than one, one-stop-shop!

I'll start with my own organisation, the Royal Society of Chemistry.
The RSC's Chemsoc <http://www.chemsoc.org> is the home of the
international chemical societies' electronic network.  From here you
can find extensive chemical education resources, information on
conferences and meetings, jobs and careers, and many links to other
sites via the Chemical Resource Locator.  Chembytes is an on-line
magazine, providing specially-commissioned feature articles for the
Web site plus business and science news.  The latest addition to
Chemsoc is Visual Elements, a most striking representation of the
periodical table.  You can click on the element you are interested
in to find a full description of that element plus useful physical
property data.  Chemsoc has a direct link to <http://www.rsc.org>  
which covers all the RSC's extensive activities as a Learned Society 
and a publisher (in print and electronic media).  This is
also the site of the LIC's home page. From here you can also search
the books and images catalogue and full periodicals list.

Our sister society in the US, the American Chemical Society, actively
promotes <http://www.chemcenter.org> as its lead site.  The ACS has
three other home pages which describes ACS publications, ACS
membership and Chemical Abstracts.  All three are linked to
ChemCenter.  ChemCenter, like Chemsoc, has a wide selection of
resources including searchable directories and databases, information
on chemical education, news and comments.  Providing you have a userid
and password, you can also search the databases held on STN Easy.

ChemDex <http://www.shef.ac.uk/chemistry/chemdex/> from the chemistry
department of the University of Sheffield, is a very organised site
with many links to other chemistry resources.  From here you can find
information on universities and institutions, chemical companies and
government bodies.  ChemDex is the home of WebElements, one of the
most popular periodic tables on the Web. ChemDex-UK, also searchable
from this site is a directory of staff working at UK chemistry
departments.

The final chemistry subject site I want to mention here is ChemWeb
<http://chemWeb.com> which is a good example of a commercial venture.
Although registration is free, access to many of the databases are
charged for. ChemWeb has excellent links to electronic journals (some
of which are free), jobs, software products, meetings and conferences.
The Alchemist, a Webzine (a magazine on the Web), is a good example of
its kind.


2/ Chemical data.

One of the best places to start looking for data is by searching
<http://www.chemfinder.com>. ChemFinder indexes many hundreds of Web
sites that contain actual chemical data.  You can also search by CAS
Registry Number, which is the most effective way of searching for any
chemical substance. ChemFinder is a much more efficient way of
retrieving information on chemicals rather than using one of the large
search engines, such as Lycos or Hotbot.  If you are looking for data
compilations such as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) then consult
<http://www.ilpi.com/msds/index.html> which lists 60 or so free sites.
Periodic tables of elements (plus descriptions of the elements and
respective data) have already been mentioned under Chemsoc and
ChemDex.  At the last count I found about 25 such tables on the Web.

Another 'must-see' site is Toxnet at <http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/>, from
the US National Library of Medicine.  Four databanks are available
free of charge.  Of note is the Hazardous Substances Data Bank, which
is an evaluated databank of 4,500 potentially hazardous substances.


3/ Electronic journals.

Electronic journals or e-journals are one of the biggest growth areas
and success stories on the Web.  Many e-journals allow non-subscribers
to search for articles, consult tables of contents and even view
abstracts.  The full article is available to subscribers only or on a
pay-per-view basis.  If you managed to orientate yourself around the
'hub' sites mentioned above, you will have already found lists of
e-journals in chemistry.  However, one of the best lists available can
be found at <http://www.chemconnect.com>.  This site is regularly
updated with about 600 links.  There are, at the time of writing,
58 free or free-at-the-moment e-journals on ChemConnect.


4/ Environmental resources

Chemists are also very concerned about the effects of chemicals on the
environment and the ways in which these effects can be minimized.
'Green Chemistry' and 'Journal of Environmental Monitoring', two new
journals from the RSC, reflect this concern.  One of the best sites
for Web resources on environmental chemistry can be found at
<http://www.liv.ac.uk/chemistry/links/> from the University of
Liverpool.

Information on air pollution is easily found on the Web.  The best
site in the UK, in my opinion, is produced by AEA Technology at
<http://www.aeat.co.uk/netcen/airqual/welcome.html>.  From here you can
search for emission data on the most common pollutants such as sulphur
and nitrogen dioxides. For those of you interested in which chemical
plant is emitting chemicals in a neighbourhood near you, have a look
at Factory Watch from Friends of the Earth at
<http://www.foe.co.uk/factorywatch/>.  This site, controversially,
recently named the worst polluting chemical plants in the UK.  The
Ozone Secretariat, at <http://www.unep.org/ozone> has the full text of
international treaties governing the prevention of ozone depletion.

4/ Chemical business
There is a vast amount of business information on the Web.
Practically every chemical company has its own home page, from where
you can often view their annual report (plus financial information),
search for a specific product and find full contact details.  One of
the better sites for chemical business is <http://chemexpo.com/>
which lists chemical companies, their products, trade associations,
people, news, comments and chemical profiles.

There are many free chemical product catalogues on the Web, though
they are often country specific and not comprehensive.  Some of the
better ones are <http://www.sourcerer.co.uk/> for UK suppliers,
<http://pubs.acs.org/chemcy> for US suppliers and
<http://www.chemnews-japan.com> for Japanese suppliers.
ChemConnect, mentioned above with reference to e-journals, is also a
useful chemical trading site. Try the chlorine dioxide test on your
chosen catalogue.  If it produces more than a couple of suppliers for
this chemical then the catalogue is probably a good one!

Finding information on companies is also relatively easy. Sites such
as Chemsoc and ChemDex have made good links to chemical businesses.
Try also <http://www.industrylink.com> for companies in 20 industry
sectors including chemistry.  The supplier sites mentioned-above also
provides information on the companies selling the products.  The best
list of annual reports on the Web can be found at
<http://www.carol.co.uk/>.

CEFIC, the European Chemical Industry Council's homepage can be found
at <http://www.cefic.be/>.  Look for the section on economics and
statistics.  From here you can find information and tables on a very
wide range of statistics on the industry in Europe.


5/ Historical chemistry

Chemistry might be one of our most important and modern industries,
but it also has a very long and interesting historical tradition.  We
in the LIC take our history seriously as it forms part of our role as
a Learned Society.  Recently we made available, over 2,000 historical
chemistry images.  Search our catalogue at
<http://www.rsc.org/lic/imagesintro.htm>. The US Chemical Heritage
Foundation, established by the ACS and American Institute of Chemical
Engineers, <http://www.chemheritage.org/> has a useful list of other
historical Web sites.  A full list of Nobel Prize winners, on any
subject, can be found at <http://www.nobel.se/>.

Try starting your day with 'This week in chemical history' which is a
calendar of historical events in chemical history available from
ChemCenter <http://www.chemcenter.org>.

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Nigel Lees is Senior Marketing Officer at the Royal Society of
Chemistry with special responsibility for developing and promoting the
Library & Information Centre (LIC). The LIC provides a national focus
for information on chemistry and chemicals in the UK and is widely
used by members and non-members alike.  Nigel's areas of interest are
mainly in environmental chemistry and chemical business information
and he can be contacted at <library@rsc.org>.

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       >>> Don't forget to visit the Free Pint Bookshelf <<<
                http://www.freepint.co.uk/bookshelf

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                        FREE PINT FEEDBACK

We don't have much room in this issue for many of your letters, but
have reproduced a couple of interesting queries. Keep your letters,
feedback and questions coming to <feedback@freepint.co.uk>.

This issue's subject index:

  * Newspapers on the Web
  * Online Biographic Checks

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Subject: Newspapers on the Web
From:    Collette Logan-Andersen
Date:    Wednesday 14th April 1999

"I'm wondering if you could help me by suggestion.  But first, I would
like to commend you on the exceptionally high informative and quality
content of Free Pint.  I have found much useful information in your 
reports and I look forward to receiving it each time.

My company would like to carry out a mini survey among UK Newspapers.
The topic is "why are newspapers online?". I would love to hear from
your readership, especially anyone involved in such a venture."

  Collette Logan-Andersen
  Marketing Researcher, Exentia AB, Sweden

          Send your comments to <feedback@freepint.co.uk>
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Subject: Online Biographic Checks
From:    Various
Date:    April 1999


"Is there one or more places a US researcher can go for on-line 
biographic checks for UK citizens -- sort of who's who for the 
average person?  Verify address, employment, family members, 
educational background?  I can't exactly call up articles on 
Dow Jones Interactive or the Lexis/Nexis who's who.  Thanks."

  Chris Benecke


"My home is in the "mitten" of the USA. My feeling toward the 
internet phone directories is, "so what?"

Here you can pick up any phone and call "information" and get phone 
number and address. This information is in the printed phone books.
After that how much effort does it take for someone to pick up a map 
and find where you live?

People just don't realize how easy they are to find without the Web."

  Judith Alta Kidder
  Southwest Michigan, USA

          Send your comments to <feedback@freepint.co.uk>
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             DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION, COMMENT OR REPLY?

Let us know your feedback or favourite site by sending an email to 
the Free Pint team now to <feedback@freepint.co.uk> 
remembering to include your name, title and company or organisation. 
Please note, if you write to us we may publish your letter in whole 
or part for the interest of our subscribers unless you request 
otherwise at the time of writing. Please let us know if you wish 
your contact details to be withheld.

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                 QUICK TIP ... INTERNET PUBLISHING

Many email packages can handle recipient lists. However if you are
contacting a large readership (like Free Pint) then you should 
consider using online list hosting software like "Majordomo".
Your Web site can then handle subscription requests automatically.

                              William Hann ~ http://www.willco.co.uk/

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                          FREE PINT FACT

In the last two weeks alone, Free Pint has gained over 700 new
subscribers. Indeed, 52% of those came through personal 
recommendation ... thank you very much for spreading the word.

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We hope you enjoyed this issue of Free Pint.  Please forward this copy
to colleagues, friends and journalists, or ask them to visit our Web 
site soon at http://www.freepint.co.uk/ to see past issues.

                       See you in two weeks!

                           Kind regards,
                   William Hann, Managing Editor
                      william@freepint.co.uk
                    http://www.freepint.co.uk/

(c) Willco Ltd. 1999
http://www.willco.co.uk/

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                   FREE PINT FORTHCOMING ARTICLES

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24th April 2014

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