Final version of glossary
Academic technology typically refers to that segment of a college or university's computing staff who as a group are responsible for the effective use of computing in teaching and learning in the institution. More generally it refers to all aspects of such service, from software and hardware to usage and administration.
Accessible refers to the intentional design of computer applications so that they may be effectively used by people with any number of disabilities. A web page that offers, for instance, the capability for being "read" by a speech device for an unsighted user, or a kiosk system that is placed at a height suitable for a wheelchair user, are examples of accessibility issues. In 1998 the federal government revised the Rehabilitation Act ("Section 508") to require all federal agencies to make their information systems and technologies more accessible to users; the spirit of this law is leading most vendors and IT organizations to conform to these new federal practices.
API stands for Application Program Interface, which is a feature of some software that allows computer programs to be written that can control aspects of the software. A software application's API is a set of published specifications for how that software can be manipulated by other software.
Archival is an adjective referring to archiving, or storing for a very long time. Libraries serve a broad social function as repositories for archives of information stored in documents, typically print, but increasingly documents in electronic and other forms. How long such documents are "important" to be archived (kept in a usable form) is something that librarians think about a lot. There are not infrequent value differences between librarians and technologists in this regard.
Asset management systems are database systems designed to handle inventorying, use, counting, and other functions of any asset. Large organizations operate asset management systems to track such things as office furniture, computers, software, or other items of value that must be accounted for. A content management system (see below) may be conceived of as a type of asset management system.
Authentication may be thought of as the process of "logging in" to a computer system that is designed to verify the identity of the person at the keyboard. In simple terms, authentication is that part of a system that "proves you are who you say you are." Providing a password is a means of providing authentication that we are most familiar with, but other systems are available, such as eye retina scanning or use of "smart cards."
Authorization is that part of a computer system which enforces some policy concerning use of that system. In simple terms, authorization "tells the system what you can and cannot do" when you log into it. Course management systems typically have authorization components which limit entry into course sites to those who are
Automagical is a made-up term conflating "automatic" and "magical," commonly used by technical staff as shorthand. It refers to a functional automated process that is purposefully not described in detail because it is either a known and trusted process or a process that needs to be developed.
Cataloging is an activity performed by library staff to attach metadata to items that the library in most cases owns. Descriptive cataloging refers to the specification of metadata that relates to physical properties of a piece (e.g., the number of pages in a book or the medium on which a computer file is stored), and subject cataloging refers to the specification of metadata which places the piece in a larger context of related works.
CMS in our context stands for "course management system," a class of software that includes such products as WebCT, Blackboard, and ANGEL. The abbreviation is also often used to refer to "content management system," a type of database software that is used to keep track of large numbers of digital objects.
Content management systems are specialized database systems for managing large collections of digital materials such as electronic documents, images, and digitized sound or video. Management tasks can include subject or item retrieval, or more abstract management tasks such as calculating storage requirements, inventorying by format, and the like.
A content object is, in the context of the CIC conference, a digital file or aggregation that has qualities of a document in that it carries internal semantic meaning. Faculty place "content objects" into their CMS course sites so that their students can view/listen to/read them.
Content rights management, or more generally simply "rights management," is the collection of processes, practices, and standards for assuring compliance with copyright laws. Both copyright owners and institutional users of copyrighted materials (such as libraries) often have rights management systems in place to protect their interests.
Copyright policy refers to a legal tradition and specific law that goes back to the 18th century in England, providing limited monopoly rights to authors and publishers for dissemination of their works. There is an extensive literature on this, and many issues which affect higher education, including piracy, research publication, and the distribution of electronic documents for teaching purposes.
Course management system: SAKAI definition: A web application designed to enhance the teaching and learning experience through the use of online tools (see also Learning Management System, System).
Crosswalk is a computing term referring to the transformation from one database format standard to another. A crosswalk specifies the relationships between all elements of two similar databases, indicating how noncommensurate elements are transformed from one database to the other.
Digital Library Technologist is a professional that specializes in some or all aspects of Library management of digital materials.
Digital Rights Management pertains to the digital management of copyrights. Historically, DRM has focused on security, encryption and enforcement issues. Over the last 3-4 years the focus has broadened to encompass digital management of copyright, intellectual property, and regulatory requirements such as FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Education Act) and HIPAA - (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) that prescribe rights for students and patients respectively. DRM-Workshop Summary Report
DAMS is the acronym for Digital Asset Management System
A Digital Asset Management System is a set of interelated computer applications and network services providing an infrastructure to support the capture, acquisition, cataloging, storage, mangement and distibution of digital media - video, audio, graphics, documents and text. There are a broad array of management capabilities but those most often considered for Higher Education include: access control and permissions, version control, check-in and check-out, use data, copyright, intellectual property, and compliance to FERPA and HIPAA federal regulations. G-SAM - Global Society for Asset Management
The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative is an open forum engaged in the development of interoperable online metadata standards that support a broad range of purposes and business models. Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI)
The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set is often referred to as simply "Dublin Core." IT is a standard for cross-domain information resource description. Here an information resource is defined to be "anything that has identity". There are no fundamental restrictions to the types of resources to which Dublin Core metadata can be assigned. This set is often considered the minimum set of metadata required to describe a resource. Dublin Core Metadata Element Set
ePortfolio is a software application and digital repository of artifacts that facilitates, presentation, critical
thinking, assessment and reflection by individuals and groups.
eReserves is a service generally provided by the Library to provide required academic materials online for use by students and faculty enrolled in classes. Materials may include any of the materials in the library holdings as well as those provided by instructors.
federated search: a general term for the technology to perform a simultaneous search across multiple databases.
FERPA is an acronym for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, United States Code of Federal Regulations, Title 34, Part 99. Passed into law in 1974, FERPA governs the nature of and the manner in which information about students can be disclosed. Has an effect on the rules established to govern access to Course Management Systems. For more information Full text of FERPA via the GPO website
GLB is an acronym for the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act, also known as the Financial Modernization Act of 1999. Among other things, the act includes new privacy rules to protect consumers personal financial information. For Universities, this may include the information exchanged during the processing of student loans, or in the handling of stored value cash cards and campus IDs. For more information: GLB Act Resource Page from NACUBO
HIPAA is an acronym for the Health Insurance Privacy and Accountability Act of 1996. HIPAA attempts to establish a national standard for the protection of health information. For more information: Office for Civil Rights - HIPAA, from the United States Department of Health and Human Services
ILS is an acronym for integrated library system, the tool or suite of tools used to acquire, catalog, circulate and otherwise manage the library's physical and electronic holdings. Usually includes an Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC), otherwise known as an online card catalog. For more information: Integrated Library Systems. ERIC Digest
IMS was at one time an acronym for Instructional Management Systems. Currently, the formal name is IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc. IMS "develops and promotes the adoption of open technical specifications for interoperable learning technology." Source: IMS web site
An institutional repository is a computer-based collection of content generated by the faculty, staff and students at a college or university. Usually, this material is collected electronically for the purposes of preserving the research or other intellectual output of the institution.
Instructional technology: the use of technology (computing technology) to support learning
IT is an acronym for instructional technology (see above) and information technology. Sometimes, it refers specifically to the Information Technology division or department at an institution.
JSTOR is the Scholarly Journal Archive, an online database of the backfiles of key scholarly journals. JSTOR content is usually added with a "moving wall" of currency: for example, a journal publisher might allow content only 4 years old or older to be added to JSTOR, so that backfiles are constantly being added, but the most current issues are usually not available.
Learning management systems (see also: course management systems): Infrastructure platform through which learning content is delivered and managed. A combination of software tools perform a variety of functions related to online and offline training administration and performance management. Source:Dr. Diane Ehrlich, Northeastern Illinois University
Learning object: any entity, digital or non-digital, which can be used, re-used or referenced during technology supported learning. Source: IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee
The life cycle of learning objects is the path that a learning object takes as it grows from idea to execution to delivery. Several of the metadata fields in the IMS standard for the description of learning objects track the version number, modification dates, and several other types of events in the life cycle.
Link resolvers are a class of technology tools used to take the user from a link to the current home OR the best appropriate copy of an electronic object (learning object, journal article, web site, media object, etc.) Handle systems, permanent URL systems, and SFX-type systems all rely on link resolution as a core function.
LOM is an acronym for the Learning Object Metadata, the standard set of fields used to describe Learning Objects.
Mappings: tools that help to transform metadata in one standard to metadata in a different standard by showing closest field equivalencies. For example, the MARC 245 field might be mapped to the Dublin Core Title field.
MARC is short for Machine Readable Cataloging. MARC is the metadata format used in most traditional library catalogs. Fields are numbered from 001 to 999 and include lettered subfields (subfield a, subfield b, etc.). In the United States, the MARC standard is maintained by the Library of Congress.
Metadata literally means information about information. In the library and technology worlds, metadata is primarily used to structure and maintain information about digital objects. There are many different types of metadata, including descriptive (describe the intellectual contents of the object), administrative (life cycle information and provenance), and technical (file size, file format, system requirements, etc.)
Middleware is software that connects two otherwise separate applications OR separate products that serve as the glue between two applications. It is, therefore, distinct from import and export features that may be built into one of the applications. Middleware is sometimes called plumbing because it connects two sides of an application and passes data between them. (For example, there are a number of middleware products that link a database system to a Web server. This allows users to request data from the database using forms displayed on a Web browser, and it enables the Web server to return dynamic Web pages based on the user's requests and profile.) Source: CREN digital certificate glossary
NetID is a generic term for a unique personal login for an individual. Also called an institutional id.
OAI: Open Archives Initiative. This initiative develops and promotes interoperability standards that aim to facilitate the efficient dissemination of content.
OCLC: (Online Computer Library Center) a cooperative offering services, such as cataloging and resource discovery.
OKI: (Open Knowledge Initiative) is a group that supports innovative learning technology in higher education. The result of this collaboration is the beginnings of an open and extensible architecture that specifies how the components of an educational software environment communicate with each other and with other enterprise systems. http://web.mit.edu/oki/
Open Source: Open Source Software" is software that makes the programming code available and accessible to users who want to use or adapt it. Open source software development projects include many professionals or skilled amateurs actively cooperating to develop and improve a complex software program by allocating the work among participants. Each participant is able to acquire and use the most fundamental underlying “source code” without paying any fee. http://www.tltgroup.org/opensource/base.htm
OpenURL: Link to a full text article in a way that is stable, and using a good linking tool.
Outreach: This term applies to audiences who are outside the university system, those external partners in the local communities, businesses, national and international contacts, and more.
Pathfinder: A guide designed to assist the user in researching a particular discipline or topic. A pathfinder identifies key subject headings related to the topic, important reference books, periodical indexes, journals and other resources available at the local library. Sources on the World Wide Web are usually also included. Pathfinders can be printed or available online. (Copied from the Glossary of library terms at the University of the Cariboo)
Pedagogy: the principles, practice, or profession of teaching, the art and science of how people learn. Content pedagogy refers to the pedagogical (teaching) skills teachers use to impart the specialized content of their subject area.
Persistence/persistency: Things that stay around, for example, a stable URL that never changes.
Portal: portals provide a single point of access to aggregated information. The primary goal of most portals is ease-of-use. Besides having a single point of access -- a virtual front door -- portals generally try to provide a rich navigation structure.
The portal concept has been applied to general audiences on the Web (Internet portals), to organization-private Web sites ("intranet portals"), and to specialized online communities of practice ("vertical portals" or vortals).
Processing: The work of preparing library materials for use in the library. The information technology profession refers to processing as manipulating data within the computer.
Provenance: the record of an item's origin and the history of its ownership and geographical location since its creation.
Proxy Server: A proxy server improves Internet access speeds from a network primarily by using a caching system. Caching saves recently viewed Web sites, images, and files on a local hard drive so that they don't have to be downloaded from the Web again. Proxy servers both help to make networks more secure and to save users' time. Proxy servers can provide a secure Internet/intranet firewall, can filter incoming data, and can support connection sharing. Proxy servers work as a helpful "middleman" or broker between you and your Internet connection.
Publishing System: is a tool or set of tools that takes structured content and delivers it to the end user.
SCORM is an acronym for sharable content object reference model. SCORM is a family of standards designed to facilitate the creation and reuse of learning or instructional objects. See the Advanced Distributed Learning site for more information.
Secure computing is a generic term for computer-based exchanges that are protected by secure network connections and computing infrastructure, and the standards and planning necessary to support them.
SFX is a content linking system developed in 1999 by researchers Herbert Van de Sompel and Patrick Hochstenbach at the University of Ghent. SFX relies on the OpenURL standard and resolves content links at request time to provide users with the most appropriate copy of a resource and to avoid hard-coding content links in local databases and repositories (including online library catalogs). SFX has been trademarked and is licensed exclusively to the ExLibris Group, who now markets a link-resolver tool under the same name. Originally, SFX was a working title short for "special effects." See Van de Sompel and Hochstenbach's original Dlib article for more information.
Standards are specifications that are mutually agreed upon by associations, interest groups, or other bodies. In this context, there are standards for metadata and system design, standards for file formats, standard protocols for network-based delivery of content, etc.
Stewardship: responsibility for well-being of something. In this context, usually refers to responsible and forward-thinking planning for the longevity of digital content, including cultural materials and learning objects.
Subject guides are lists of recommended library materials and resources in particular subject areas. See also: Pathfinder.
Subject specialist is someone, in this context usually a librarian, who has particular knowledge in a content subject area. Sometimes also called selectors or bibliographers if the subject specialist is responsible for library collections acquisitions in their area.
A systems librarian holds a Masters degree in Library Science (MLS or sometimes MLIS) and is responsible for overseeing a range of library applications and servers. May include responsibility for the operation of the Library Management System (see above).
TEACH is an acronym for the Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2003. The TEACH Act includes a number of educational exemptions to copyright restrictions introduced with the passage of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998.
Textbooks are books that are selected to be the primary textual companion to/content of a particular course. Many textbooks now include some sort of technology add-ons in the form of computer-based exercises, quizzes or tests, presentations for the instructor to build on, web sites for additional research, and so forth.
A URL resolver is a tool that takes the user from a link to the content they are seeking. Usually, resolvers rely on a database or other intermediate source of information for the most recent, most appropriate, or most reliable location for the information being sought. See also: link resolver.
VPN is an acronym for Virtual Private Network. A VPN is a private communications network usually used within a company, or by several different companies or organisations, communicating over a public network. VPN message traffic is carried on public networking infrastructure (ie, the Internet) using standard (possibly insecure) protocols. Source: Wikipedia