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Telematics for Libraries - Projects


Updated: 22 NOV 99
Project Number and Title
5632 - DIgitised European PERiodicals
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
FP 4/ A 4 November 1998

Keywords : bibliographic records; digital library; electronic publishing; library catalogues; quality control; serials access; user interface
Related projects : TECUP

blue bullet Additional information is available from the DIEPER website . (

Action Line

Action line A: Network-oriented internal library systems.

Call Topic(s)

Call Topic 2: Tools and methods for the creation and use of library materials in electronic form.

Project description

Technical progress has made digitising of printed documents an option for most modern libraries. Digitising is going on at a rapid pace already. In most cases the selection of documents, the technical standards applied, and the options for access by the user follow the individual decision of the library. In spite of the costs involved this results in considerable duplication of effort (even the same items digitised at different places) and above all, no clear strategy can be offered to the user, which may help him to find out, whether the document he needs is available as digital full text. This is a particular disadvantage regarding back issues of important research periodicals, where users are looking for fast access to relatively short documents (journal articles).

DIEPER offers the test-bed for studying the impact of providing electronic access on the use of these materials and may pave the way for electronic modes of publication.

Technical approach

A register will be built, on the model of the European Register of Microform Masters, taking into account JSTOR, which provides a similar service to American users.

The following actions will create the DIEPER test-bed:

  • Records of the register will be linked to reliable and comprehensive archives of periodical literature working at different sites throughout Europe.
  • A search engine, accessible from the register, will allow full text searches of the articles in digitised periodicals or at least a full text search of the tables of contents.
  • Project participants will help build a virtual library of periodicals by scanning journals according to de facto standards, to demonstrate the technical feasibility of optimum on-line access and retrievability.
  • Participants will make accessible pre-existing digitised periodicals via the register and search engine.
  • A uniform strategy for retro-digitising throughout Europe will be developed and tested, based on a minimum standard for access and retrieval.

A conference for publicising DIEPER's interim results and receiving feed back on the service is planned halfway through the project.

Key issues

DIEPER addresses the need in Europe for a central access point where all digitised periodicals shall be recorded.

  • A Web-based register is needed to file the records of all periodicals digitised by DIEPER (text of five important periodicals will be captured by scanning). The periodicals will serve as a sample for testing user response and evaluate the features of the service
  • A search engine is needed to retrieve full text of documents made available by document management systems at the participants' sites.
  • Participants' document management systems (DMS) must be evaluated and then one DMS developed to fit the needs of the project.
  • Standard forms for agreements with rights owners, in regard to digitising certain periodicals, must be elaborated, with the help from the TECUP Project.

Impact and expected results

DIEPER will provide a realistic perspective for a European distributed digital library with a central access point set up as a permanent service. (the infrastructure remains after EU funding ends). A model for financial viability will be available to enable timely start-up of a permanent service.

The virtual library of periodicals will:

  • provide economic user access to digitised documents,
  • help to co-ordinate digitising for preservation in a distributed setting,
  • make available periodical literature to less well equipped libraries,
  • reduce costs of providing docu-ments to users within the library,
  • protect original paper volumes from being destroyed by excessive use.

For economic reasons, most libraries may want to subscribe to digitised periodicals, instead of acquiring bound sets of volumes, to enable them to offer permanent access to a larger number of periodicals to its users than it could ever afford to buy. The DIEPER test-bed will demonstrate the feasibility of this.


The main deliverables will be:

  • The test-bed register
  • The search engine (documents produced independently of DIEPER shall be made accessible through it)
  • A demonstrator for all functions
  • Annual and Final project reports.

Additional information is available from the contact below and from the project web site:
DIEPER website


Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
Georg August Universität Göttingen/ Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek D 37070 Göttingen DE
Title, First Name, Name Dr Werner Schwartz Address: Platz der Göttinger Sieben
Tel: +49 551 39 52 18 Fax: +49 551 39 23 61
E-mail 1: (email removed) E-mail 2:

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
Bibliothèque de l'Université René Descartes - Paris V FR A
Springer Verlag Heidelberg DE A
ABC Datenservice DE S
Helsinki University Library FI P
Tartu University Library EE A
Det Kongelige Bibliotek DK P
Universitätsbibliothek Graz AT P
Katholieke Universitet Leuven BE P
University of Patras Central Library GR P
Università di Siena - Facoltà di Ingegneria IT P
attracting over 100 participants from many EU countries and

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