|7th Workshop on Exploitation and Utilization of Information
Resources in Asia-Pacific Region|
May 6-20, 1997. ISTIC, Beijing, People's Republic of China
Details of Technical Sessions
The Introduction about the Information Service Industry
Mr. Zhanping gave a brief account of the present situation of China and new changes of ISTIC. He gave some important data about the economic growth & social development on gross domestic product, inflation rate, state foreign exchange resources, trade volume and international tourism. He spoke about China's problems and difficulties encountered in the course of economic development such as :
The strategy of China's development is as follows:
He also talked about ISTIC and its new changes as given below:
Introduction by Information System for Decision
Ms. Li discussed about the Information Service System for long-term Planning (ISSATP), Environmental and Development Information System (EDIS), and one computer simulation model - Threshold 21 China (the National Sustainable Development Simulation Model in Chinese Version). All these were developed by ISTIC under the support of the Planning Department of the State Science and Technology Commission of China (SSTCC). The ISSATP is a key project of the Eighth Five-year Plan of the country and the EDIS is a project supported by UNESCO for development of a software package for environment and development decision-making based on data collection, processing, analysis and forecasting.
For scientific decision-making, it is necessary to get hold of comprehensive, timely and accurate information; for successful administration of plan and policy, it is necessary to base it on information control and feedback. Long-term Planning is the major component of the macro-strategical decision-making of the country, and its complexity and comprehensiveness and selective strategic information on S&T development as well as on social and economic background.
The EDIS is a computerised simulation to get 600 equations from 800+ variables for the period 2000-2045. The economy system is divided into 4 parts, i.e., Agriculture, Manufacturing, Social Service and Energy. They have collected the data over a period of 10 years (1985-1994). The software used is from Ventenna Software Development Corporation, USA. She informed that it is very difficult to get the data from government / institutions, even for giving it to UNESCO.
She also narrated the difference between the ISSATP and the EDIS. The ISSATP is a textual technical digital database used for statistics, forecasting and comparison while EDI is a software package for environment and development decision-making. The EDIS components are Demography, Resources, Economy, Environment, and Standards (for comparison). The Chinese data collected fits best / closer to polynomial curve with r2=0.9817.
Searching Internet Information Resources : Method and
Mr. Hexin started the presentation with a brief history of Internet, NII and GII and informed that China has begun to build National plan for NII in 1994. He also talked about the new mandate of General Information Program of Unesco which concentrate on Memory of the World; The Public Domain Online; Virtual Laboratories; Virtual Learning Communities; Governance in the Information Age; Training of Information Specialists and Libraries and Archives as Gateways to the Information Highways. It is essential that information institutions take advantage of information technology to pool and increase their resources and provide their users access to the information available at community, national and international level. In this context, it is necessary to explore and use the information resources on Internet, as Internet is a great information warehouse. In brief, information resources can be divided in to 14 categories as given below:
He also explained the Non-structured searching method (Browsing), structured searching approach (Retrieval) and characteristics of search tools. The ideal search tool should have following characteristics:
In the last, he also gave some examples of useful searching tools and networks in China, which are given below:
The Patent Information Service of China
Mr. Lianyuan gave an introduction, types and contents of the Chinese Patent Document (CPD) and informed that the first issue of the Chinese Patent Gazette was published and distributed on September 10, 1985 as the Chinese Patent Law entered into force on April 1, 1985. The "Index according to International Patent Classification" and "Index according to Applicants and Patentees" are the two main searching tools of the CPD. He also talked about the numbering system of CPD. The numbering system of the CPD used by Chinese Patent Office (CPO) since January 1, 1993 is as follows:
Besides in paper form, the CPO publishes the specifications to applications for inventions and the specifications of utility models on 16 mm microfilms and 105x148 mm microfiches. CPO also publishes the three Patent Gazettes on 105x148 mm microfiches. Moreover, CPO produces magnetic tapes of the English abstracts of the Chinese Patents, which is distributed to various countries in the world. CPO now also produced its CDROM documents. There are 4 kinds of them: CNPAT/ABSDAT (in Chinese), CNPA/ACCESS (in English), Chinese Patent Database and CPS (full text specifications.
The total number of patent application filed with CPO by the end of 1996 were 6,25,309 (1,68,774 invention; 3,66,301 utility model; and 90,264 designs). CPO has built up a nation-wide-patent documentation service network with the Documentation Department of the CPO as its centre. It has altogether 64 service centres located in various districts throughout out the country. Every centre has a complete collection of the CPDs.
CPO Patent library has document storage totalling more than 20 million patent specifications published both at home and abroad. It has reading rooms of more than 2000 square meters and a capacity of more than 200 reading seats, and a store house for documents of 2000 square meters. Patent Documents on various forms (paper, CDROM, microfilm and microfiche) from more than 20 countries and organisations are stored in the Patent Library. It receives about 60,000 readers every year, and provides various services such as copy printing, entrusted copy printing, search, advising, translation and training, in addition to the facilities for reading.
In response to the participants query, he informed that the Patent Application fees for Invention, Utility Model and Industrial Design is 200, 50 and 30 US $ respectively and the term of patent is 20 years for patent and 10 years for utility models and industrial design.
The lecture was ended with a Visit to the China Patent Office.
The Technical Information Promotion System (TIPS) and
its Services in China
Mr. Lianhai introduces the necessity of establishing an information network among developing countries, TIPS - a bridge across developing countries, TIPS National Bureau in China and effectiveness of TIPS services. He informed that developing countries like India, China has developed many new technologies but other countries do not know it and the key reason is lack of information. In 1960s, developing countries asked United Nations (UN) to create International Information Network. UN has created five databases to provide information but the information was not very useful to developing countries because of lack of computer and communication facilities. In 1970s, all the developing countries called UN especially United National Development Program (UNDP) to create useful Information Network (not databases). Under this thinking, UN has created United Nations Fund for Science & Technology Development Fund (UNSTFD) with a HQ in Rome, Italy. This International Information Network is called TIPS, which is protected network means only developing countries can become the member. TIPS collect and disseminate practical and updated information on the latest technologies and trade opportunities available in the developing countries.
In 1977, China, Philippines, India, Pakistan in Asia, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Nigeria in Africa and Mexico, Peru, Brazil in Latin America became the members of TIPS and commenced into operation. At the first stage, the cost of operation were provided by UNDP and this stage lasts for one and half years. Then in the second stage, UN was not able to provide financial support to all TPS member countries. Therefore, each member country has to provide their own financial support and started charging small fees for their services. But funds were not enough to bear the full cost. Hence each member country's government provides the financial support. Each member country has a National Bureau. Each National Bureau has to collect the information within the country for trade, technology, financial, R & D and joint ventures offers / requests. They translate this information into English and transmit to TIPS HQ in Rome. At Rome, it is edited and if they found it useful, then transmit to all National Bureaus. In turn National Bureaus translates to their languages and pass this information to their users. TIPS provide a bridge between the information user and information source.
At present, TIPS has 40 members from developing countries including China, India, Philippines, Pakistan, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba, Argentina, Costa Pica, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Panama and Uruguay. Indonesia and Thailand became TIPS members in 1996. Several other countries like Singapore, Iran, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea and Angola are planning to join the network in near future. In addition to above, there are correspondents in over 70 non-TIPS member countries.
At present, TIPS covers broad technical and industrial fields such as agro-industry, light industry, energy, electronics, food processing, machinery, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, building materials, chemicals, fisheries, mining and metallurgy, packaging and textiles. In each of the above sectors, TIPS carries the 15 types of information, namely, technology requests, technology offers, trade requests, trade orders, consultancy requests, consultancy offers, joint ventures opportunities, bids, technology / trade news, technology / trade policies, technology trends, trade trends, research and development, technology / trade events and training. TIPS distribute this technical and trade information through sectoral bulletins.
He informed about the EC/BRE (Bureau of Papportment des Enterprise, a French word means Enterprise Corporation Centre) is incorporated from TIPS. At present, EC/BRE has 53 member countries. The working model of EC/BRE is almost same as TIPS. EC/BRE has HQ in Brazil and also has an office in Rome. He also informed about UNIDO/INTIB (International Technology database). UNIDO/INTIB has 48 member countries and HQ is at Vienna.
He also talked about TIPS National Bureau in China. It is located in the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (ISTIC). NB in China has established over 20 local information centres (LIC) that are located in municipal centre of the city. For example, Shong Hai has over 60,000 government enterprises and lot of institutions. Shong Hai has a Stringer (Information Collector) who visits each and every enterprise, collects information in Information Sheets, and puts them in different industrial sectors. and transmit it to TIPS NB in China. TIPS cover 14 industrial sectors. Most of these LICs are in the coastal region in the North East of China. NB in China edits the information received from LICs as per the TIPS Information Format and puts into TIPS Network. TIPS, EC/BRE, UNIDO/INTIB uses different information formats. Each LIC is connected to TIPS NB in China through Computer and Internet. TIPS NB in China has editing, processing and distribution, marketing, liaison and technology sections to carry out various activities. There are 5000 subscribers of TIPS Bulletin.
The statistics in the NB in China have shown that the feedback rate of foreign clients to the offers and requests publicised by Chinese users in the global TIPS network has reached 83.6%. On the other hand, the feedback rate of the Chinese subscribers to the offers and requests publicised by foreign users in TIPS bulletin is by and large the same. The management of TIPS NB in China has evidence of establishment of more than 10,000 contracts between suppliers and buyers of technologies and products as well as joint venture projects in China and foreign countries as a result of TIPS service in past eight years.
In at least several hundred cases, agreement for transfer of technology or purchase or sale of equipment and / or products with over 1 billion US $ have been concluded. For example, Chines Shen Yang Cable Corporation won a tender from Green Company in Pakistan for laying a line of high pressure cable between two cities in the country for 2.36 million US $. Another example, the Qionlai Recoil Tyre Factory has sold the technology for manufacturing recoil tyre to a Jerman Company in USA for 1.5 million US $.
He concluded by stating that TIPS, the bridge between Chinese users and foreign clients has brought about far reaching social and economic effectiveness. With the expansion of the global network, it will surely plan an even more important role in promoting technology transfer, business contact and economic cooperation among developing countries.
ISTIC's Databases and Services
Mr. Zhouhua introduces ISTIC's databases (bibliographic and textual) which are built to meet the increasing needs of domestic and overseas users. ISTIC's large collection of S & T literature lays a sound foundation for the construction of the bibliographic databases. The bibliographic databases in services are:
Database construction is a capital-intensive business. The bibliographic database construction is mainly supported by the government in terms of budget; the factual ones are entirely by market. It is more difficult to set a factual database than a bibliographic one in terms of data acquisition, the preciseness of the information collected and the update work. Having made intensive market feasibility studies, ISTIC has developed the following factual databases:
He informed that ISTIC works as both database producer and promoter. He also informed that the database service income reached as much as 1.5 million RMB in 1996.
These databases (available on IBM CDS/ISIS and VAX TRIP) are accessed through either China PAC (Public Packet Exchange Data Network), China DDN (Digital Data Network) or special telephone lines. In addition to this, users can also access international databases. ISTIC's International online services take up 1/3 rd of that of the national total. Online service is the main stream of ISTIC's a Database product. He mentioned that users will also be able to retrieve ISTIC's Databases on Internet by the second half of 1997.
Some of the ISTIC's databases are also available on CDROMs, FDs. Network version of ISTIC's databases are also produced to meet the needs of network development. The other services are Data on classified fields, Hotline service, Databases services by letter & Fax, One site information services, User Training.
ISTIC signed an agreement with Nova Science Publisher Inc, USA to publish and distribute "Chinese Science & Engineering Abstracts" from the data of Chinese Scientific & Technical Periodicals Database (English Version)". ISTIC's database products have been filed in Dialog and sold to over 20 countries and regions. ISTIC also sets up three overseas branches in US, Japan and Hong Kong.
He also mentioned about the overlapped work done by ISTIC and other Information entities. For instance the ISTIC and The Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of Shanghai are duplicating the construction of "Chinese Academic Proceedings Database". The overlapped work results in great waste in terms of manpower and finance.
He talked about the "Chines Scientific & Technical Information Network" (China Info Project available at http://www.chinainfo.go.cn). The aim of the project is to link all established Chinese Scientific and Technical Sub-networks together nation-wide. Users will be able to access "China Info" on Internet and search information.
He further mentioned that ISTIC's databases is rather small in size as compared to international databases in the world due to later start than the developed country and budget shortage.
Visit to the National Library
We have visited the National Library of China on May 14, 1997 afternoon. The library was established in 1909. After the 1911 revolution, the library was taken over by the Ministry of Education of the Northern Government and formally opened to the public on August 27, 1912, which was set as a memorial day for the National Library of Beijing. After the founding of the People's Republic of China in October 1949, the National Library of Beijing was renamed as Beijing Library. Premier Zhou Enlai, the first Premier after the founding of the People's Republic of China, proposed and approved the construction of the new building for the library, while the library located in Wenjin Street became a Branch Library. The new library building located in the western suburb was completed in July 1987 and formally opened to the public on October 6, 1987.
The National Library of China covers an area of 7.42 hectares with a floor space of 140,000 square meters, including the Branch Library. The library has a total floor space of 170,000 square meters, 6,000-7,000 readers visits are made to the library's 30 odd reading rooms daily. The total collection (ancient books and foreign publications) of the library amounted to nearly 20 million (Monographs 8.0 M, Serials 9.4 M, Non-book material 1.5 M, Newspaper 0.1 M, Other material 0.5 M). The history of library's collection can be traced back to 700 years ago.
As a national library, the National Library of China accepts home publications under the legal deposit mechanism (Depository Act, 1952), to collect on comprehensive basis home publications related to the study of china, to collect foreign valuable multidisciplinary publications in a selected way. It also perform functions as the National Bibliographic Centre by editing and publishing national bibliographies, union catalogues and library catalogues, undertaking the assignment of ISSN by the China Centre.
The National Library of China contains a complete set of modernised service system including micro-copying, xeoduplicating, 25+ K audio visual service, 70+ K CDROMs (Chinese and Foreign) retrieval, internet access, academic exhibitions, The National Library of China charges 40-50 Yuan/Hr for access to CDROMs / Internet and 0.5 Yuan / page for printing.
Science & Technology Information Network of China
Mr. Qiao is a project coordinator of S & T Information Network in China. He talked about the Internet development and various S & T Networks in China. He informed that China has only email exchange in 1980s and TCP/IP connectivity started in 1990s through various ISPs in China. The various S & T networks in China are:
The last four are the official international connection for Internet in China and uses services from SPRINT. The internet users are over 300,000 in two years [CERNet - 50,000. CASNet - 15,000, GBNet - 1,600 and ChinaNet - 64,000]. The features of these networks are as follows:
He also talked about STINet, an online service, started in 1988 and uses VAX 11/750 for Chinese database (trip) and IBM 4381 for English database (CDS-ISIS). It has over 200 terminals in the country using telephone or leased line or X.25 to access 25 databases containing 7.5 million records. In 1994, ISTIC applied for IP address from InterNIC for 168.160/16 IP address resource (B - class IP address to have 60,000 hosts). STINet has 64 kbps leased line connection with IHEP in 1994 and established connection with ChinaNet via 64 kbps leased line in Feb 1996, now is 256 kbps and planning to go for 512 kbps from Beijing Telecom Administration (BTA). The other features of STINet are given below:
STINet services in ISTIC are PPP access service, standard internet information service bulletin board system, training service, homepage hosting service, database search and technical support. Users can telnet to search database in addition to web server to search through subscription for full text of 25 databases. Online system is for professional and web service is for ordinary users. They also have hot line for providing technical support.
STINet ongoing projects are Chinese Search Engine, Chinese Info and Union Catalogue of Foreign Documents. Search engine in Chinese as well as English will be ready to use in next 2-3 months. This engine is based on Brazilian Professional Data Management System, as it is cheaper than Oracle system. China Info is a project for all S & T institutions, working with Oracle, Netscape certification server. Database server will be operational on web by August 1997, which will be free this year and start charging from next year. Union Catalogue for foreign documents is a five-year plan from 1996-2000 and the same will be published on Internet.
He also discussed about the positive and negative driving forces for Internet development in China. Some of the positive forces are more interest (70%) from business sector and individual, development of internet business, development of national backbone, emergence of new technology and keeping up with the world. Some of the negative driving forces are backbone bandwidth, little knowledge of computer application, less Chinese information resources, information security, pornography and Chinese platform (browsers are only in English). The real problem is that the public service sector has no interest to publish information on Internet.
In response to participants query, he informed that the usage tariff is 10 Yuan for 1 MB up to 10 MB usage and 7 Yuan for additional 1 MB for over 10 MB usage. Internet Cafe's, normally run by an ISPs, and are not much successful in China. Access speed in Beijing is 28.8 kbps and less than 14.4 kbps in small cities.
The Education and Training of Information Professionals
& its International Cooperation
Mr. De spoke on the need of education and training of information professionals and said that Information has become the fourth resource besides electronics, energy and raw materials. Man is a key factor in processing information, using information and providing information services. Therefore, it is urgently necessary to improve the skills, knowledge and service quality of information professional.
ISTIC has divided the information professional education into two parts, regular education, that is the masters degree of science program and continuous education which is so called on the job training for staff.
ISTIC has started its master degree program in 1978 and is one of the few institutions, which got the right to award master degree in 1984. Usually such programme of regular education is implemented by universities and colleges. Till date, there have been 366 post graduate students, out of which 167 students have been awarded master degree in the past 19 years and the left are one year post graduate students who got relevant certificates.
With the help of experts in LIS from different countries (Prof. Neelamegan, from India & 2 experts), the teaching program (syllabus) and courses were formed and determined regularly in several meetings of curriculum design held during 1985-88. The curriculum design and major subjects of MSc degree are given below:
Obligatory or required courses: Philosophy, English Language
Basic courses: Applied mathematics, Sources of Information and retrieval, Bibliometrics, Computer network and Internet, Software engineering, Economics of technology, Database technology and its applications.
Specialised courses: Consultancy, Policy and strategy of S & T developments, Methodology of information analysis, Information economics, Information management and services, Information market, Information processing, Retrieval language and indexing, Network construction and management, Analysis and design of Object-oriented systems, Multimedia technology.
Elective courses: Second foreign language (such as Japanese or German), Courses recommended by the Supervisor.
The research areas for post-graduate students are Information analysis and Consultancy, Information market and Information economics, Information technology, and Information processing and Automation. The research areas should be combined with the tasks of ISTIC such as Utilisation and collection of Information resources, Development and Application of Information technology, Information research and analysis, and Transaction and interchange of information and technology.
The Research & Training Centre has three class rooms and a computer room with 18 PCs connected with internet through the ISTIC LAN and printers, a CDROM drive, a language laboratory and some audio-visual equipment's for teaching and studying. In addition they have a class library acquisition and collection of professional books, periodicals, academic thesis and other materials for lecturers, students and ISTIC staff as well.
ISTIC has a relatively long history of cooperation with other countries and international organisations in information science such as UNESCO, British Council, Philippine's University, Ealing College, London (now Thames Valley University), Lougnboraugh University of Technology. In January 1995, ISTIC has set up academic relationship with University of Maryland of USA in LIS field for five years. They have some similar relations with Japanese and Australian institutions.
The continuous education is also key project in ISTIC. In conformity with concerned regulation, on the job training cannot be less than 40 hours for professor-lecturer level per year and 32 hours for assistant level per year. ISTIC has some 1000 staff members. ISTIC has been paying more attention to continuous education for past 10 years during which about 50 short-term training courses have been organised and about 2400 staffs have been trained with various subjects such as foreign languages, including English, Japanese, French and German (oral, writing and translation), an introduction to information work, computer applications, document management, information technology, information processing, information economy and market, intellectual property and so on.
ISTIC has been engaged in distant learning for information professionals of enterprises in order to satisfy their special needs. Altogether 10 subject courses are offered consisting of Introduction to Information in Enterprises, User Analysis, Information Marketing, Information Management and Services, New Technology in Information Work, Information retrieval, etc. More than 1500 professionals from various enterprises have been trained in the past 5 years.
© Vimal Kumar Varun, New Delhi. INDIA
29 November, 2006 12:12:04 -0500