6. COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONIC RESOURCES

By Henry Smith

CONTENTS

I.  Connect to Email
II.  Master the Resources of CLIO and CLIO-Plus
III.  Learn to Use the Dedicated Terminals
IV.  Sign Up For a List
V.  Browse the Web
VI.  Some Useful Bibliography

In the years since Japanese Bibliography was revived at Columbia in 1990, the computerization of the entire field has proceeded at an accelerating pace. The pace has been so rapid, in fact, that it has proved impossible to pin the situation down at any particular moment, knowing that all will be different within just a few months.

The following remarks are based on a handout that Henry Smith prepared for a roundtable on "Doing Research in the Electronic Age," AAS Annual Meeting, Boston, March 24, 1994. It was offered as a proposed series of steps through which to introduce students to the basic electronic resources on Japan. The details have here been updated to reflect the dramatic changes in the intervening 18 months, and tailored to the Columbia environment.
 


I. CONNECT TO EMAIL.

The first requirement for all future students in Japanese Bibliography will be an email connection, which has proved crucial not only to the management of the course, but which also develops the mentality for being at ease in explorations of the rapidly expanding resources of the Internet/Web.
 


II. MASTER THE RESOURCES OF CLIO AND CLIO-PLUS

Obvious as it will appear to future generations, as of 1995, it still bears repeating that any student of Japanese bibliography at Columbia should begin by mastering all the diverse resources of CLIO, the basic on-line system for the Columbia Library, and CLIO-Plus, the greatly extended network that now links with on-line bibliographical sources throughout the world. The most crucial of these at the moment are:

RLIN: this is the basic research library network catalog of which Columbia is a member, and includes Japanese-language materials. Hopefully an interface for vernacular display will be available to all online sometime in the near future. RLIN should be approached thrugh the friendly EUREKA interface.

UNCOVER: an index, available online at subscribing institutions, of a vast number of periodicals since about 1988, with provisions for online ordering of most articles for about $9, delivered by fax. Uncover now includes a number of scholarly journals in Japanese, although limited to those that provide English-language tables of contents.
 


III. LEARN TO USE THE DEDICATED TERMINALS.

Particularly for those working in contemporary topics, the following electronic information retrieval services at Columbia are the most important. Even those whose interests lie in the classical humanities should be aware of these resources and what they offer:

NEXIS: primarily for news and business, worldwide, with plenty on Japan. Ask your library for instruction (which you'll need: it's not too user-friendly) and more information.

NIKKEI TELECOMM: Japanese news and business; in the U.S., most university subscribers seem to have the English-language version. [See review in Ch. 2, "English- Language Reference Works," for the English-language version.]
 


IV. SIGN UP FOR A LIST

NOTE: For lists, unless otherwise indicated, send the message "SUBSCRIBE <name of list> <your full name>" to listserv@ the address given. To get your name off the list with same procedure, but UNSUBSCRIBE.

H-ASIA for the last year has been the newest and most interesting list around for general interest matters in Asian Studies. Strongly recommended at the moment as a first experiment in receiving a list. The address is <listserv@msu.edu>.

H-JAPAN, meanwhile, is about to start up, and should satisfy the growing demand for a list that deals only with Japan. It is sort of a shame to cannibalize H-ASIA into the different regions of Asia, but the traffic was getting to heavy for many people to tolerate. This is an area of critical transition as of mid-1995.

JTIT-L (Japanese Language Teaching and Technology): <jtit-1@psuvm.psu.edu>. Currently a lively group, with a lot of talk about soft/hardware for Japanese language processing.

EMJNET (Early Modern Japan Network): to register, send a brief message to <emjnet-request@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>. To make contributions to the list, address to <emjnet@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>. Properly, this is a forum on early modern Japan (1500-1900), organized by Phil Brown at Ohio State, but it also often has talk about electronic resources in general. Quiet lately, but poised to spring into action at any time.

EASTLIB (East Asian Libraries): <eastlib@mento.oit.unc.edu>. Basically for the business of East Asian libraries, and one useful way to follow what is happening there.
 


V. BROWSE THE WEB.

As of summer 1995, the Web is the talk of the land. But as anyone who has spent any time on the Web will know, it is also in a very awkward infancy, with few sites that are really worth revisiting. Japanese sites are still few and undeveloped, and even American sites are good mostly for simple information. For Japan-related things, the following URLs will plug you into the Web; for more detailed and current listings, please consult East Asian Studies Librarian Ria Koopmans-de Bruijn, who is keeping abreast of all this:

Japan Window Home Page  <http://jw.stanford.edu/>

Internet Guide to Japan Information Resources:
<http://fuji.stanford.edu/japan_information/japan_information_guide.html>

Japan - WWW Virtual Library <http://fuji.stanford.edu/VL/WWW-VL-Japan.html>

CERN/ANU - Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library:
<http://coombs.anu.edu.au/WWWVL-AsianStudies.html>

[NTT] Japanese Information:  <http://www.ntt.jp/japan/index.html>

The CEAL Home Page: http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~felsing/ceal/welcome.html>

East Asian Libraries Cooperative Japanese Page:
<http://pears.lib.ohio-state.edu/Japan/Japan.html>

The Association for Asian Studies: <http://bbanning.memorial.indiana.edu/~aas/>
 


VI. SOME USEFUL BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ken Lunde, Understanding Japanese Information Processing (O'Reilly and Associates, 1993). A beautifully presented and highly informative work, of interest to anyone who will have occasion to work with Japanese-language text. Mangajin magazine, a journal of "Japanese pop culture and language learning" that has been producing useful consumer-oriented articles about Japanese-language software. Although it really is about manga, it is a magazine that major libraries should have.


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