Started in November 1998, CALIS completed its first phase of construction by the end of 2001. Currently, the system can provide an online public access catalog, interlibrary loan (ILL), Internet navigation, online cataloging, cooperative literature purchasing, and various other functions through digitalization of information resources, networking of information services, and cooperation among participating academic libraries. As a result, universities and colleges in China now possess information resources greatly more than ever before. The variety of foreign periodicals increased by one-third, 95% of the Chinese literature and 80% of foreign literature are now available, and more than 100 academic libraries offer 24-hour online information services. In addition, 25 distinctive databases and 194 disciplinary navigation databases have been built.
In its second phase of construction, starting in 2002, CALIS aims to further strengthen the document supporting ability of academic libraries. It plans to realize the automation and networking of about 1,000 academic libraries, among which 100 will be fully automated and networked, becoming the backbones in information resource-sharing. Some 20 academic libraries will be developed into digital library bases, acting as the kernels of information service systems and distributing centers of information resources. Besides this, digitalized information resources imported from foreign countries are expected to cover all subject areas, while domestic information resources will be as much as several terabytes (Zhu, 2001).
China Digital Library Project and NSTL Construction
Construction of the China Digital Library and the National Science and Technology Library have been advancing smoothly. In April 1999, the China Cultural Information Net started operation as the top level of the China Digital Library. In November 1999 and February 2000 respectively, the Capital Library and China Radio International (CRI) became experimental units of the China Digital Library project. Experts from various fields of study are doing extensive research on technological, operational, and legal issues involved in the construction of the digital library. Recently, the directing committee of the China Digital Library project proclaimed that construction of the China Digital Library must be expanded to include digital resource development. The China Digital Library should be more than a digital library; it should be constructed into a digital resource center. It should include information resources not only from libraries, but also from the government, and even from international channels. The ultimate goal of the project is to build a "Digital China."
The initiative of building the National Science and Technology Library is near conclusion. Through two years of construction, participating libraries now collect more than 16,000 types of foreign scientific and technical literatures (including periodicals, conference proceedings, technical reports, etc.), as compared to no more than 4,000 types in 1996. Some 6.5 million bibliographical records were put online by the end of March 2002, and this number is expected to increase at a rate of 2 million per year. The network service system provides 24-hour, free, secondary literature retrieval service to Internet users. In March 2002 alone, 1.37 million users visited the system, as compared to 150,000 when the system was started in January 2001. More than 60,000 users have received full-text document service.
Development of Commercial Information Products
Information resource development in a market-oriented approach achieves great effect. Many database and information service providers (such as ICP and ISP) come into operation, including the China Academic Journals CD-ROM database, ChinaInfo Group, Chongqing Weipu Information Consulting Corporation, Ltd. (http://www.vipinfo.com.cn/), Beijing Scholar Sci-Tech Co., Ltd., and China Infobank, etc., and enjoy nation-wide reputation. The Chinese Journal Full-text Database includes more than 6.1 million articles from 6,600 major periodicals published in mainland China since 1994, as well as more than 15 million bibliographical records. The database is available both online and in CD-ROM form.
In a broader context, Internet-based information resources have also undergone rapid development. According to statistics from the "Survey on Information Resources in China," which was released by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) in September 2001 (http://www.cnnic.net.cn/tj/rep2001.shtml), there were 692,490 registered domain names, 238,249 Web sites, 159,460,056 Web pages, and 45,598 online databases within China. A recently released report shows that the number of Web sites increased to 293,213 by June 2002 (http://www.cnnic.net.cn/develst/2002-7e/index.shtml).
With the further improvement of information infrastructure and the intensifying of international communication brought by its entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), China will surely embrace a boom in information resource development in the 21st century.