5.0425 SBL Computer Assisted Research Activities (1/190)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Sun, 3 Nov 1991 20:01:32 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0425. Sunday, 3 Nov 1991.

Date: Wed, 30 Oct 91 18:40:16 CST
From: robin@utafll.uta.edu (Robin Cover)
Subject: CARG Program: Summary and Invitations

The Computer Assisted Research Group (CARG) will sponsor its customary
range of activities at the upcoming AAR/SBL Conference in Kansas City
(November 23-26). The annual theme is "Academic Networks and the Exchange
of Electronic Information." The following feature summaries and
invitations may be of interest or direct relevance to members of AAR
(American Academy of Religion), SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) and
affiliate societies which will convene at this Annual Meeting.


CARG's feature presentation will be an invited lecture given by TEI editor
Michael Sperberg-McQueen (University of Illinois, Chicago) on text encoding
issues as they apply to biblical and religious studies. His title is
"Particularism and Ecumenism in Electronic Text: The Text Encoding
Initiative and the Creation of Shareable Scholarly Resources" (S142,
Saturday, November 23, 1:00 - 2:15 PM, Bartle Hall 211).

The lecture will explain how standardized descriptive-structural markup
offers strategic advantages over procedural document markup by separating
text structure and content from textual appearance. It will explain further
how such generic encoding forms the basis for a wide range of document
interchange and text processing operations common to scholarly publishing,
database management, and office automation. This general session will be
valuable for textual scholars, database developers, editors, publishers and
society officers who desire to understand the rationale, principal
objectives and methods used in text encoding. The lecture will highlight
standard formalisms for descriptive markup, but especially the text encoding
standards under formulation by the internationally-sponsored Text Encoding

In a second session, Michael Sperberg-McQueen will be joined by TEI editor
Lou Burnard (Oxford University) to present a hands-on demonstration of
TEI/SGML encoding schemes using biblical text materials and SGML software.
The session is "Illustrating Descriptive Text Encoding for Literary Texts
from Antiquity -- A Working Session." Program item is S55, Sunday,
November 24, 9:00 - 11:30 AM, Bartle Hall 211. In this working session, the
TEI editors will demonstrate the fundamental principles and advantages of
TEI markup using several SGML-compliant software packages. TEI encoding
uses SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language, ISO 8879) encoding
implemented for humanities texts. The demonstrations will show how TEI/SGML
descriptive-structural markup offers important advantages over procedural and
presentational markup. Prepared examples will illustrate how TEI/SGML encoding
thus renders textual data accessible both to traditional (paper) printing
demands and to electronic search and retrieval--across an arbitrarily wide
range of computing architectures and applications packages. Text samples
will be taken from textual databases familiar to biblical and classical
scholars. Special attention will be paid to the multilingual dimension of
research documents and databases, showing how TEI encoding supports
language-specific text processing within multilingual text. Attendees are
invited to submit marked up (or untagged) textual materials prior to this
session, with the goal of seeing these "real texts" worked on from a
(TEI/SGML) descriptive markup perspective. An attempt will be made to deal
with the special encoding problems faced by textual scholarship within the
SBL/AAR/AOS/ASOR orbit. Bring such texts (Plain ASCII: DOS or Mac
diskettes) to the conference or, preferably, submit them via email in
advance to Robin Cover, Internet robin@utafll.uta.edu (or BITNET
zrcc1001@smuvm1 given linkfail).


A second major session sponsored by CARG addresses the complex issues in
providing public access to scholarly writing (especially primary textual
materials). The session title is: "Ownership, Copyright, Intellectual
Property, and Control in the Domain of Electronic Texts from Antiquity."
Program item is S142 (Monday, Nov 25, 3:45 - 6:15, Bartle Hall 211).

The session will be moderated by David Lull (Executive Director, Society
of Biblical Literature), and will feature an opening presentation by Ann
Okerson (Office of Scientific and Academic Publishing, Association of
Research Libraries). Fourteen seminar participants selected from diverse
academic domains will contribute to a definition of the problems, and will
be invited to suggest strategies for obviating the institutional and legal
obstacles based upon models of "paper publication tradition" which may be
inadequate models for electronic scholarly publishing and communication
based upon emerging technologies. Participants: Lou Burnard, Director,
Oxford Text Archive, Oxford University; Jerry D. Campbell, Vice-Provost
for Library Affairs, Duke University; James Charlesworth, Princeton
Theological Seminary; Robin C. Cover, Co-Chair, Computer Assisted Research
Group; James E. Eisenbraun, Eisenbrauns Publishing; Marianne Gaunt,
Project Director, National Center for Machine-Readable Texts in the
Humanities; Harry W. Gilmer, Director, Scholars Press; Robert A. Kraft,
Center for the Computer Analysis of Texts (CCAT), University of
Pennsylvania; Lewis Lancaster, University of California, Berkeley; Ann
Okerson, Office of Scientific and Academic Publishing, Association of
Research Libraries; David Orton, Religion Editor, E. J. Brill Publishing;
James M. Robinson, Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont
Graduate School; Harold P. Scanlin, United Bible Societies; Gene M.
Tucker, Candler School of Theology, Emory University; James C. VanderKam,
North Carolina State University; Arthur O. Van Eck, National Council of

Session description: This session of the Computer Assisted Research Group
will be conducted in a seminar format, will explore the philosophical,
ethical, computational, legal and economic issues involved in (1) the
production of reliable electronic editions of ancient texts derived from
the standard text publication process, and (2) public access by scholars
to machine-readable editions of primary texts from antiquity. The special
features of electronic representation of literary texts, and assumptions
and expectations about editing, publishing, and distributing
machine-readable texts will be examined. Primary (literary) texts in
transcription and translation are of greatest interest, but attention will
be paid to other genres and forms of written scholarship. Panelists are
representatives from the following domains: authors/editors of primary
texts, directors of electronic text archives, library science authorities,
commercial and non-profit publishers, humanities computing specialists.
Papers circulated in advance will be summarized.

Two primary articles are recommended in preparation for this session:

Okerson, Ann. "With Feathers: Effects of Copyright and Ownership on
Scholarly Publishing." College and Research Libraries 52/5 (September
1991) 425-438. (first presented to an AMIGOS Session, October 21,
1990, "Electronic Publishing: Who Owns What, When?").

Okerson, Ann. "Back to Academia? The Case for American Universities to
Publish Their Own Research." LOGOS 2/3 (1991) 106-112.


Opportunity will be made for institutional representatives to report
briefly on current software and database projects at their respective
institutions. Anyone not already listed in the Annual Meeting Program
(pages 41, 43) who wishes to prepare an oral report should contact Robin
Cover via email or phone before November 12th. Use: Email Internet
address robin@utafll.uta.edu (or BITNET zrcc1001@smuvm1 given linkfail);
Phone 214/296-1783 any hours.


Opportunity will be made for software developers (academic-institutional,
commercial, non-profit) to demonstrate software supporting multi-lingual
or generic text processing if it is of significant interest to
religious/biblical studies. Time slots are 30 minutes. Software
applications must be "standard" DOS, Mac, Micro-IBYCUS or
bring-your-own-machine (NeXT, etc.). To schedule a demo session, contact
Raymond Harder via phone or email before November 18th. A full schedule of
such demonstrations will be printed and made available in Bartle Hall 211
at the beginning of the conference. Use: Email addresses (in this order
of preference): Internet, rharder@atl.calState.EDU; BITNET,
harderr@clargrad; Prodigy, FKPF15A; Compuserve, 72160,1373; Phone:
714/983-4713 (best 8-10 AM pacific time or 7-11 PM). Postal mail:
Raymond Harder, 5614 Cambridge St., Montclair, CA 91763.


Other CARG sessions deal with general issues in academic networks, as
summarized in two session titles:

(a) "Global Electronic Workspace: Academic Network Resources for Religious
Studies" -- Online Public Access Systems and Bulletin Boards on the
Internet: The Global Card Catalogue and Beyond; Electronic Discussion Groups
and Technical Support Groups for Humanities; Network Access to
Machine-Readable Texts, Electronic Journals and Specialized Research
Databases; Academic Networking for Un(der)supported or Institutionally
Unaffiliated Scholars: Making the Electronic Connection Electronic
Communication in Real Time: Live Demonstration of BITNET and Internet
Networking Session

(b) "Practical Issues in Academic Networking" -- The use of standard
encoding utilities for network-safe transmission of textual, graphical or
other binary data; The use of SGML entities as a standard interchange format
for accented characters, mathematical and publishing symbols, digraphs and
other special characters; The use of standard compression and archive
utilities for micro- mini- and mainframe computers; The use of archive
servers, "knowbots" and other online search facilities for locating
electronic information on academic networks; Practical help in accessing
mail-based and interactive online databases; Bibliographic list of
resources for academic networking.

Full descriptions of these program activities are printed in the Annual
Meeting Program ad S16 (pages 41, 43), S55 (page 61), S142 (page 101) and
S163 (page 113) and in the Abstracts volume. Details of the 1991 program
are also given in OFFLINE 33 (posted to HUMANIST, IOUDAIOS and RELIGION,
available on the respective LISTSERVers) and in print format, RSN 6/3
(May/June 1991) 13-17 = CSSR Bulletin 20.3 (September 1991).

Robin Cover BITNET: zrcc1001@smuvm1 ("one-zero-zero-one")
6634 Sarah Drive Internet: zrcc1001@vm.cis.smu.edu
Dallas, TX 75236 USA Internet: robin@utafll.uta.edu ("uta-ef-el-el")
Tel: (1 214) 296-1783 Internet: robin@ling.uta.edu
FAX: (1 214) 709-3387 Internet: robin@txsil.lonestar.org