Virtual Library member requirements

There are a few technical requirements to maintain a section of the Virtual Library, (see below). However, far more important is that you share the overall goals of the other members of the Library: to provide a clear, current, easy-to-use and unbiased guide to the most important online sources in your field. If you believe in doing that, to make life easier for web users, then pick your area and join us! Maintaining a Virtual Library section is a great way of getting recognition in your field, a good way of keeping abreast with what's available on the net, and a unique way to contribute to the internet.


The following are requirements for all VL sections, and have been in place for several years. Certain exceptions may be made after discussion with the Catalog curator, who may refer the matter to the VL council for decision.

During 2005 these requirements were expanded, added to and amended into a PDF booklet (HOWTO.pdf). Whilst this page is no longer definitive, the same guiding principles remain.

Virtual Library identity

Each VL section must carry the VL logo, forming a link to the Virtual Library catalog, and must include the words Virtual Library in the title and main heading of each page. The main heading should also be a link to the catalog URL at http://vlib.org/ . Here is an example html heading.
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
<title>The World Wide Web Virtual Library: Chemistry</title>
<a href="http://vlib.org/"> <img alt="&copy; VL logo" src="VL.png"> </a>
<center>  <h1>The World Wide Web Virtual Library: Chemistry</h1> </center>
It has also been traditional that maintainers create a second logo for their own section, display that next to the VL logo and make it a link from all pages on the site to the site home page.


Users of the site must be able to contact the maintainer to comment on the section and suggest new entries. This may be by email or by a response form.

Stay in touch

All VL maintainers should register their pages with the with the VL database (a login/password pair will be emailed to you once your site is accepted). This is a member-run database, so anytime your URL or contact information changes, you need to update your database listing. It is also essential you provide details of your pages so the VLsearch engine can efficiently index them. All maintainers will be subscribed to the VL announce mailing list, and are encouraged to join the VL discussion list. Traffic on both lists is low, though the discussion list occasionally flares up to several messages per day.


Current rules prohibit VL pages from carrying paid advertising. A modest link to a sponsor, where the VL work is done as part of a larger project, is feasible, but should first be cleared with the catalog maintainer. However, the membership recently agreed that a controlled level of advertising should probably be allowed, and when the VL council comes into being (expected in October 1999), revision of the advertising rules will be addressed.


Each section should contain an unbiased and relatively comprehensive guide to the most valuable sources in their field. The site should aim to be one of the best resources in its area. Maintainers should not overlap with the information offered by another Virtual Librarian, without their prior consent. Virtual Library sites are largely collections of links to other sources, rather than primary data, but a brief introduction to the field, for the unexperienced visitor, is encouraged.
To the Virtual Library catalog.

Last modified Mar 6, 2004
Italicised note added November 9th, 2005.