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Telematics for Libraries - Project


Updated: 11 JUN 98
Project Number and Title
3078 - Delivery of Copyright Material to End-users
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
FP 3/ III Theme 14 March 1995 February 1996 24
Keywords: document access/delivery (electronic); SR/Z39.50; networking; copyright

blue bullet Additional information is available from the DECOMATE web site .

Access to and/or delivery of documents (theme 14)
Project description
DECOMATE aimed at providing end-users access to copyright materials in electronic form. Three university libraries in three different countries have received part of their journal holdings in electronic form (images) directly from the publisher. Special software has been developed which links bibliographic records to electronic full-text articles and allows the user to view documents or have them delivered in printed form. This software and the document distribution service has been made accessible to end-users (academic staff) within the participating academic institutions, both in the library and at the end-user's workplace through the campus network. The system includes a module for user-authorisation and usage monitoring and reporting, in order to enable solutions for the problems of copyright in the electronic library. User studies and dissemination activities form an important part of the project.
Delivering copyright materials in electronic form to end-users creates a number of interesting problems in the area of protection of legal rights and document integrity. The project has studied the problems in order to develop both legal and technical solutions. Copyright aspects have been regulated through bilateral agreements between several publishers and the libraries participating in the project and has lead to new agreements with additional publishers.
Technical approach
A modular approach has been adopted based in WWW technology. This has resulted in a set of generic modules that were implemented in the different technical environments of the participating libraries. The architecture is as open as possible, involving a WWW client/server interface and a Windows user environment. Relevant standards for document formats, compression and interface protocols have been taken into account.
The project was structured into seven workpackages:
  • Preliminary studies of document formats, standards and protocols, existing work and development methodology;
  • Software development for article retrieval and delivery: server, client, protocol and network;
  • Software development: monitoring, authorisation and reporting;
  • System integration and implementation on three library sites;
  • Copyright assessment;
  • User studies arising from test operation of the three systems.
Information has been disseminated via journal articles, workshops and a specially convened conference. The very sucessful conference took place on 27-28 February 1997, attracting over 100 participants from many EU countries and the USA. The proceedings of the conference have been published on the LSE website as well as in printed form.
Key issues
  • Specification and development of the generic client/server software for article retrieval and delivery;
  • Specification and development of the generic software for the monitoring, authorisation and reporting modules;
  • Copyright assessment and inclusion of more publishers;
  • User requirements analysis;
  • Review of relevant standards;
  • Methodology for open and generic systems development.
Impact and expected results
A document distribution service has been set up, based on co-operation between publishers and libraries, for the delivery of copyrighted publications to end-users in electronic form. It was implemented in three libraries of the generic software modules for providing end-user services in the area of of supply, retrieval, delivery, browsing and viewing of journal articles in electronic form as well as for monitoring and managing the use of such documents. A framework for solving copyright issues related to electronic distribution of scientific journals, together with a testbed for user-behaviour for these services.
The prototype system implemented in three libraries has been demonstrated publicly. Software and certain technical and management reports appertaining to that system will be confidential, but in the public domain will be:
  • Monitor, authorisation, reporting specifications;
  • User documentation;
  • Follow-up plan;
  • Final report.
The software can be obtained without charge from the project ( )
Also available are:
  • Preliminary Studies - Reviews on: document formats, standards and protocols, solutions of related projects, methodology for open and generic system development;
  • System specification;
  • Client, server, protocol network and the monitoring/authorisation/reporting specifications;
  • User study design;
  • Review on Copyright issues;
  • Toolkit Design;
  • Conference paper: Z39.50 of WWW: which way to go?
  • Documentation on DECOMATE tools;
  • Final report;
  • Proceedings of the conference;
  • Follow-up plan.
Documentation is available from the contact below and from DECOMATE web site .


Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
Tilburg University Library NL - 5000 TILBURG NL
Title, First Name, Name Mr. Hans GELEIJNSE Address: Warandelaan 2
PO Box 90153
E-mail 1: (email removed) E-mail 2:

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona ES P
London School of Economics and Political Science UK P

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