William Y. Arms

D.Phil. University of Sussex, U.K., 1973

My research interests concentrate on digital libraries and electronic publishing. These fields integrate methods from many disciplines, so that the work ranges from technical topics, such as distributed computing and information representation, to the economic and social aspects of change.  My book “Digital Libraries” was published by the MIT Press in winter 2000.

One of my principal interests is the changes in scientific publication as online materials replace printed journals as the primary means of creating, storing, and distributing research information. I have just completed a period as chair of the ACM Publications Board, am a member of the MIT Press Management Board, and am a member of a strategic planning committee of the American Physical Society.

As part of the NSF-funded Prism project, I am working with the Library of Congress to develop methods for long-term preservation of materials on the Web. This year has also seen continuing progress in reference linking, the generalization of citations and hyperlinks to references among digital works. A general framework has been developed and is being applied to several large sources of information.

A new area of research is the extension of digital libraries to wireless and mobile computing. We have also been experimenting with the use of mobile laptops in Cornell classes.

Professional Activities

Publications Board: Association for Computing Machinery.

Series editor: MIT Press series on Digital Libraries and Electronic Publishing.

Editor-in-chief: D-Lib Magazine.

Chair: Cornell University Committee on Distance Learning.


“Economic models for open-access Publishing.” iMP, March 2000. (http://www.cisp.org/imp/march_2000/03_00arms.htm).

“Digital Libraries.” MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-01180-8, 2000.

“Preservation of scientific serials: three current examples.” Journal of Electronic Publishing, (2) (December 1999). (http://www.press.umich.edu/jep/05-02/arms.html).

“Reference linking for journal articles.” D-Lib Magazine, 5(7/8) (July/August 1999).
(http:// www.dlib.org/dlib/july99/caplan/07caplan.html) (with Priscilla Caplan).