Report: PKAL-DSEA Seminar on the National Science Digital Library (7/23/2002)

Disciplinary societies and educational associations:

  • should work with members to develop models for preparing doctoral students to understand the potential of the digital library, and to become actively involved as contributor and users.

  • can have a major role in managing the peer-review process and facilitate the collection development process. The NSDL should identify discipline authorities/expertise to review collection materials. They can act as filters for information pertinent to the field.

  • can lend legitimacy to the project by providing visible support, and helping to serve as "gate-keepers" to ensure high quality.

  • can promote use of NSDL within membership by bringing attention to the NSDL through publications, at annual meetings, by having workshops on the NSDL, by disseminating models of how disciplinary colleagues are using these digital resources to strengthen STEM education. They could regularly "broadcast" to their members relevant information about the NSDL– about access, sites, types of information, materials available, etc. They can also build user communities, ensure the sustainability by connecting members to the NSDL, and facilitate informed use.

  • have the most reliable access to sub-disciplines. If connected to the NSDL, this would ensure the most complete representation of the fields and promote potential interdisciplinary collaborations.

  • can provide access to peer-reviewed materials that might not surface otherwise.

  • can take the lead in developing materials that connect their community to K-12 teachers.

The National Science Digital Library:

  • can expand the resources and the accessibility of resources related to education and research available to members beyond peer-reviewed journals.

  • can help disciplinary societies to expand education about their disciplines for audiences beyond their membership.

  • should review and/or add scientific journals from disciplinary societies to the materials available through the NSDL.

  • can promote interdisciplinary conversations and collaborations in a distinctive way.

  • can enhance the work of the disciplinary societies by securing information/data about what is of value to the users: how the sites/modules/resources are used and evaluated by users.

  • will help the active scholar (researcher/teacher) do his/her work well, saving the critical resource of time and connecting him/her to the larger community.


  • If professional journals are available through the NSDL, societies might lose members.

  • The digital library might lend credence to "pseudo-science."