Renewing Partnership With Chinese Libraries
In October, 2002 on their trip to China, Dr. Rush Miller, University Librarian of University of Pittsburgh Library System, and Dr. Zhijia Shen, Head of East Asian Library, met with directors of the Gateway partner libraries in China. They had productive discussions on the issues of global document delivery and library resources sharing and renewed East Asian Gateway Service agreements. They also explored opportunities for further collaboration.
Continuation of the East Asian Gateway Service
The East Asian Library at the University of Pittsburgh University Library System announces the continuation of its successful Chinese document delivery service into its fourth year. Originally funded by the National Leadership Grant awarded by the Institute of Library and Museum, the center has served scholars and library patrons across the country by delivering full-text journal publications directly from collections and libraries in China during the past three years. The East Asian Gateway Service has won immensely positive responses from its users and proven to be a valuable service critical to the research of many scholars of Chinese studies.
We welcome your use of our service. Please send your requests to the center using the on-line request form. We appreciate your feedback about our services. We look forward to hearing from you and to continuing to serve your research and information needs.
University of Pittsburgh Libraries Provide Access to Chinese Journal Literature for U.S. Scholarly Community
The University of Pittsburgh Library System, through its East Asian Library, has established a demonstration East Asian Gateway Service to deliver digital copies of Chinese language academic journal publications from six Chinese libraries via the Internet to scholars throughout the United States. This is the first global resource sharing and document delivery program between American libraries and Chinese libraries. Through this Center, scholars and library patrons can have free and easy access to full-text Chinese language journal articles stored in Chinese libraries, not otherwise available in the United States. This arrangement creates a global virtual library of Chinese journal collections with great depth and extent for scholars in all academic disciplines.
This project is funded by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services from 1998 to 2000. An earlier pilot study was funded by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange.
Research libraries in Asia partnering with the University of Pittsburgh include Peking University and Tsinghua University in Beijing, Fudan University and Shanghai Jiaotong University in Shanghai, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Academia Sinica of Taiwan.
Univ. of Pittsburgh Library Opens Research Gateway to Chinese Journal Articles
From: The Chronicle of Higher Education (12/08/98) by Lisa Guernsey Librarians at the University of Pittsburgh have set up a World-Wide Web-based system that enables researchers to retrieve journal articles from the opposite ends of the earth -- literally.
Scholars in the United States can now receive copies of articles from more than 10,000 Chinese academic journals that are housed in libraries throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. And scholars from that region now have direct access to articles in most American journals. The system delivers articles free of charge to the people making the requests.
"It's really a first step toward a global virtual library, a long-time dream of research libraries everywhere," says Rush G. Miller, director of the library system at Pittsburgh.
In the past, U.S. researchers could get copies of Chinese articles, but it wasn't easy. Scholars had to figure out which libraries in China might hold the articles they were looking for, make international calls or send faxes to submit their requests, and wait as long as a month or two before photocopies were delivered by mail. Sometimes the photocopies included blurred Chinese characters that were difficult to read.
The Pittsburgh system, which opened this month, is called the East Asian Gateway Service . Using the gateway Web site, researchers may submit requests for particular articles. The requests are received by staff members at the university's East Asian Library who are familiar with the journal collections of the Chinese libraries. The librarians first check to see if the articles might be available in collections within the United States. If not, they send electronic requests to the appropriate Chinese libraries.
Six major Chinese research libraries are participating in the program. But if librarians at those facilities don't have requested articles in their collections, they will check with other libraries in their region. Once an article is found, the Chinese librarians use an Internet-based document-delivery program called Ariel to scan its pages and transmit a digital copy to Pittsburgh. It is then printed by Pittsburgh's staff members and sent by mail to the researcher who requested it.
Most documents, Mr. Miller says, are delivered within one week of an on-line request.
The printing and mailing of the document -- instead of its digital delivery from beginning to end -- is still required because copyright laws are murky regarding electronic copies. Most publishers do not allow electronic copies of their articles to be shared among researchers out of a fear that the copies will be distributed illegally over the Internet. The vast majority of interlibrary-loan programs still deliver paper copies, and the Ariel system, which is used by hundreds of libraries in the United States, is designed to produce printouts of scanned documents.
Mr. Miller and Peter Zhou, head librarian of the University of Pittsburgh's East Asian Library, traveled to China several times in the past few years to build relationships with the librarians there and to help install software. After securing a grant from a Taiwanese organization called the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, the University of Pittsburgh brought copies of the Ariel software to each of the participating libraries.
Mr. Zhou tested the project by opening it solely to scholars of Chinese culture on the Pittsburgh campus. In the past year, several hundreds of documents have been transferred. One Pittsburgh scholar, for example, requested eight articles about bicycle ownership in China that he otherwise could have obtained only by traveling there. He received all of them within a few weeks, Mr. Zhou says.
Now a $189,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency, has made it possible for Pittsburgh to open the project to all scholars in the United States. Researchers in China and Taiwan who want articles from American journals are not covered by the grant, but Pittsburgh has arranged to provide three articles per week to each of the Chinese libraries that participates.
"This is the service of the next century," Mr. Zhou says. "If we can do this with China, others can do it with Moscow, Israel, wherever. We can provide a wide range of resources across continents."
The next challenge, Mr. Zhou says, is to determine how the project might be sustained, if it is deemed useful internationally. "This is new territory," he says. "No one has done this before, and we really do not know how large the demand will be."
For now, he has asked his staff to focus their attention on requests for articles that cannot be found in American collections. About 3,000 Chinese journals are held in large American research libraries, such as the Library of Congress. But thousands more are archived in China, including journals that ceased publishing decades ago.
The Chinese libraries involved in the project are the Chinese University of Hong Kong Library, the Fudan University Library, the Fu Ssu-nien Library of Academic Sinica, the Peking University Library, the Shanghai Jiatong University Library, and the Tsinghua University Library.