Magazine article Information Today

Internet Scout Project Looks toward the Future

Magazine article Information Today

Internet Scout Project Looks toward the Future

Article excerpt

One of the most important, prestigious, and useful resources for identifying, reviewing, and accessing new and newly discovered Internet based resources, the Internet Scout Project (http://scout.cs.wisc.edu) recently distributed a letter discussing possible future funding problems. Its current funding, a research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF, http://www.nsf.gov), ends in the spring of 2000. Because the project has been deemed a success, NSF "research" funding is no longer available for much of the project's daily work.

On October 6, the Scout Report asked readers for feedback on the value of the project, suggestions about possible funding sources, and ideas for the future. Over 2000 responses have arrived at the project's Madison, Wisconsin, headquarters in the past few weeks.

The Scout Report, the most well-known production of the Internet Scout Project, is a collection of several weekly and biweekly electronically distributed newsletters containing "... new and newly discovered Internet resources of interest to researchers and educators." All of this material is free. Currently, the newsletters have about 45,000 e-mail subscribers. Many more people see the work as users extract information from it and pass on the newsletter via various methods.

In addition, the project's Web site carries all back listings from the Scout Reports in two forms--an archive of back issues and a merged and updated database called Scout Report Signpost (http://www.signpost.orgsignpost). The Signpost database makes all the items noted in the Scout Report (about 7,750 and growing) fully searchable and browsable via Library of Congress classification and subject headings.

Susan Calcari, the project's founder and current director, says her main goal is to keep the Scout Report "free to the end user. …

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