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Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship Fall 1996

A Review of Science and Technology on the Internet PLUS

Flora Shrode
University of Tennessee

Science and Technology on the Internet PLUS. Gail Clement. (Internet Workshop Series Number 4) Berkeley, CA: Library Solutions Press, 1995. 228p. $60.00. (ISBN 1-882208-13-7). LC 95-236072. Supplement to Crossing the Internet Threshold
Designed to support readers' instruction efforts with adaptable slides and text, this book is useful both as an educational tool for librarians who are already somewhat familiar with the Internet and as a guide for developing instructional sessions. It supplies well organized, clearly stated explanations of Internet tools and their potential uses in scientific work. The PLUS edition includes disks containing PowerPoint displays of overhead figures which are printed also in the text and which may be useful for workshop presentations. The book's contents are organized into instructional modules and fact sheets, and the author explains how a trainer can use the book to lead a workshop including a lecture, demonstrations, and hands-on practice. Each module offers exercises designed to demonstrate tools and applications, and modules list suggestions of internet sites to visit for further exploration. Fact sheets provide expanded explanations of major internet tools such as MOO, FTP, URL, and WAIS. The sheets describe the purpose of these applications and provide examples of their use, as well as stating which exercises in the modules are relevant to demonstrate particular tools. The fact sheets include also sources for further information, both in the form of readings and internet tools to browse or try.

A section on how to find subject-specific resources explains search methods which can be applied to the 'Net based on its functional and subject arrangements. URLs are supplied for several major sites. A section devoted to selected readings offers a bibliography of articles, books, and publications for further information.

Intended for readers who are familiar with the 'Net and who want to learn more about sci/tech uses, Science and Technology on the Internet PLUS is most appropriate for instructors who want guidance about how to present the subject to others. The text begins with fundamental communication activities, such as conferencing and finding individual colleagues, and progresses to more broad and formal applications such as news groups and reference tools. Clement describes the range of search and retrieval methods and offers informed and realistic discussion of electronic publishing. Learning the contents of the section on electronic publishing should enable trainers to give sound advice to scientists and engineers regarding aspects of e-publishing such as validity, availability, authority, reliability, and relative prestige of the format. Clement makes valuable comparisons between electronic publication and traditional print tools and explores some implications of future scenarios which could unfold as electronic publishing becomes more widespread.

Author Gail Clement's experience as Sciences/Information Services Librarian at Florida International University and in scientific research gives her a valuable perspective that lends credence to her approach to the topic of the Internet. Her work with scientists is evident from realistic examples she suggests which seem applicable to scientists' interests.

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