Scholarly Sites for Today's Knowledge Worker

Net Log John Makulowich

Scholarly Sites for Today's Knowledge Worker

Readers who think virtual communities are creatures of the '90s may wish to revisit the Pulitzer Prize-winning history of our modern era, "The Americans: The Democratic Experience." Written by Daniel Boorstin and published in 1973, this book introduces the notion of consumption communities, "invisible new communities ... created and preserved by how and what men consumed."

What is different today, largely because of the World Wide Web, the Internet and telecommunications advances, is the speed at which these invisible new communities form. A good example can be found in the current business interest in so-called knowledge management.

One key thinker responsible for the surge in interest in this notion is Peter Drucker, management guru and self-described "social ecologist," especially through his book, "Post-Capitalist Society," published in 1993. In this work, Drucker elaborated on the "knowledge worker," a term he coined in the 1960s.

The point of all this is to place into proper context the myriad workshop, seminar and conference offerings suddenly flowing down the Internet pike, highlighting this "new" business revolution and profiling the newest crop of experts.

On the flip side of the one-day miracle meetings that promise neophytes nirvana from a lectern are the day-to-day difficulties professionals face. One such instance is this e-mail note I received from a reader employed at a federal lab.

As he stated, "Many of your readers are knowledge workers who wrestle with integrating Net-accessible information with other sources. Those of us within the scientific and technical communities are heavy into journals and trade magazines. What have you written about online publications of the scholarly type?"

Quite a bit, it turns out, but for other publications. To correct the balance, here are a few key Web sites that cater to knowledge workers of the ilk of our federal worker.

Leading my list is the moderated - that is, filtered - discussion group News of New Electronic Journals listproc@ccat.sas.upenn.
edu; subscribe newjour. You can get e-mails on the newest arrivals to cyberspace. The Web page is at gort.ucsd.edu/newjour/.

Second is e.journal found at www.edoc.com/ejournal/. This is the WWW Virtual Library Electronic Journals List. What makes compilations from the WWW Virtual Library different is generally they are created by professionals in the field.

Third is Current Cites from Berkeley, Calif., started in 1990 by Roy Tennant. As noted on its home page, it is "an annotated monthly bibliography of selected articles, books and electronic documents on information technology edited by Teri Andrews Rinne." sunsite.berkeley.edu/CurrentCites/

Fourth is ejournals.cic.net/, the CIC Electronic Journals Collection, described as a "Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Electronic Journals Collection, a prototype electronic journal management system."

Last is arl.cni.org/scomm/edir/, the site profiling the Directory of Electronic Journals, Newsletters and Academic Discussion Lists, published annually in print by the Association of Research Libraries.

You can send John e-mail at john@journalist.com; his Web address is www.cais.com/makulow/.


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