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Content archived on 2024-05-24

Academic Subject Gateway Service Europe


"REYNARD" aims to develop a pilot service offering improved subject-based routes to Internet-accessible collections of cultural and scientific information across Europe, working with - and building on - existing information gateway initiatives. The pilot-system will be based on generic broker architecture and data model that will allow integrated searching and browsing of distributed resources collections. The scope and coverage of the broker service will be developed in collaboration with existing project partners to inform standards agreements and technical implementation. Throughout the project, surveys of user requirements, applied research and a shared test environment will allow participating initiatives to experiment with cooperative efforts, devise models for sharing metadata, agree on technical solutions, develop business models and foster standardisation activities.

As the Internet continues to expand so quickly it is clear that no single gateway or country can hope to catalogue all the Internet resources available. A distributed model is required, where each country takes responsibility for describing the quality resources available on its national network. The project aims to foster such a collaborative model on a European scale. It proposes to achieve this by initiating a European broker service that aims to provide integrated access to national distributed networks of subject gateways and metadata repositories.

The project objectives are:
1. To develop a European subject access pilot service, coordinated by national initiatives.
2. To exploit existing services by way of creating a shared test-environment within which national initiatives will experiment with co-operative efforts, devise models for sharing metadata, agree on technical solutions, develop business models and foster standardisation activities

Work description:
A pilot system that brokers to a number of existing large-scale subject gateways, maintained by the project partners will be developed. The organisational and collaborative framework for the European broker service will be established. The extensibility of the pilot system and service organisation will be verified by adding at least one newly emerging subject gateway in one on the countries involved in the project, such as France, Denmark or Sweden. Aspects of data interoperability, data sharing, linguistic interoperability, and business issues underlying collaborative data exchange will be investigated and experiments to this effect will take place in a testbed environment. The project's main innovative aspect is to apply, on a European scale, potentially strong collaborative models, based on large-scale co-ordinated national and/or subject based initiatives by public funded institutions, for the provision of sustainable subject access services to web-resources. The anticipated benefits from such a collaborative approach include: overall improved access routes to Internet-accessible scientific and cultural information across Europe through aggregation and improved consistency of collections, multilingual support and a common understanding of academic user needs, and secondly: scale economies in the areas of metadata creation, abstracting and indexing by service providers.

A European pilot broker service which is fully operational, documented, embedded in existing organisational structures, verified and evaluated.
- a shared test-environment for collaborative ventures between participants in the new broker service.
- an exploitation plan reporting on the feasibility of the collaborative approach and the sustainability of a central broker service for European subject gateway activity - dissemination information about the Reynard project, the collaborative approach and the pilot service.
- support material for project partners to participate in the joint broker service and for potential new participants.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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Participants (11)