Newsletter No. 52 (December 2007)

The 5th Biannual Korean Studies Association of Australasia (KSAA) Conference
“Enlightening Korea: Converging or Diverging?”

Jung-Sim Kim
Korean Studies Librarian
Monash University Library

The 5th biannual KSAA conference was held at the Curtin University of Technology in Perth, 12-13 July 2007. The conference program was spread between two full days.

The keynote speaker on the first day was Professor Hong-key Yoon, University of Auckland, New Zealand, who spoke on “The role of Pungsu (Geomancy) in Korean culture”. The keynote speaker on the second day was Professor Ken Wells, Australian National University, who presented a paper on “Time, place & language: the impact of globalization on Korean historiography”.

The rest of the conference had three or four parallel sessions with each session having two or three speakers. There were various topics such as Korean media, politics and sociology, language and cognition, globalizing Korean culture and society, web resources for Korean studies, Korean economy, history, and international relationship.

Apart from the Korean Studies librarian from Columbia University and myself, all the attendees were academics or higher degree students in the field of Korean Studies from many different countries.

At the library session Ms Hee-Sook Shin, a Korean Studies Librarian from Columbia University in America, and I gave presentations on free web resources available for Korean Studies in the areas of the Humanities and Social Sciences. The search services from the most Korean Web sites are in Korean. Most government sites provide their own full-text information as well as viewer programs to view their full-text materials. Some government Web sites warn users to consult the paper version rather electronic version. Some provide really simple syndication (RSS) service, or search toolbars, or services for users with visual disabilities. As information on the Web can change fairly rapidly, and some sites redesign their Web pages and even change their URLs, users and librarians must remind themselves to check reasonably often to make certain that their information is always up-to-date. It is important to evaluate Web resources carefully in order to ensure the quality of the information offered and that appropriate search terms and methods are used. Gaining access to such databases would be of great help to scholars and students in Australia and New Zealand. Because it is effective and convenient, they should take advantage of this tool to assist them in their research.

Here are some examples of the web resources sites we discussed at the session:
  • Korean Integrated News Database System (KINDS) (http://www.kinds.or.kr)
  • Korean Knowledge Portal (http://www.knowledge.go.kr)
  • Research Information Service System (RISS) (http://www.riss4u.net)
  • The National Digital Library (http://www.dlibrary.go.kr)
  • The National Assembly Library (http://www.nanet.go.kr)
  • Korean History On-line (http://www.koreanhistory.or.kr)
  • Korean National Heritage Online (http://www.heritage.go.kr)
  • Korea National Statistical Office (http://www.nso.go.kr)
  • KOREA.net (http://www.korea.net)

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