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A Digital Library Testbed to support Networked Scholarly Communities

Objective

SCHOLNET aims at developing an enhanced digital library testbed to support networked scholarly communities. In addition to traditional services, support will be provided for non-textual data, hypermedia annotation, cross-language retrieval, and personalized information dissemination. The testbed will enable members of a networked community to learn from, contribute to, and collectively build on the community's discipline-oriented digital collections. It extends ETRDL, an existing European digital library for grey literature implemented on an open architecture, with new services. These will be developed as separate modules, based on existing technologies and software components. Extensive experimentation will be conducted to assess to what degree the SCHOLNET system functionality and performance meet the requirements of a large scholarly community.

Objectives:
SCHOLNET aims at developing a digital library testbed for networked scholarly communities. In addition to traditional digital library services, support will be provided for non-textual data types, hypermedia annotation, cross-language search and retrieval, and personalised information dissemination. The testbed will enable the immediate dissemination and accessibility of technical documentation (and the underlying ideas) within a globally distributed multilingual community. It will also contribute to the creation and diffusion of a new model for scholarly production and use by providing functionality to permit annotation on digital objects in any format by authorised users, to support personalised information dissemination, and to access federated repositories of related material. The enhanced digital library infrastructure should produce significant benefits for a scholarly community, providing it with additional credibility and visibility and encouraging its expansion.

Work description:
The SCHOLNET project will extend the basic service provided by an existing European digital library for grey literature (ETRDL) with tools that implement a new set of services to handle multimedia digital objects and to provide a collaborative working environment. ETRDL was implemented using the Dienst technology, developed by a US Consortium led by Cornell University. Dienst version 4.1.9 provided functionality for archiving, access, discovery and browsing. ETRDL added capability for on-line document submission/withdrawal, subject classification, multiple language indexing and search, and on-line administration. A new version of Dienst, now released by Cornell University, enhances the system openness and provides a powerful document model able to support multimedia documents.

SCHOLNET will port ETRDL onto Dienst version 5, extending the functionality provided by the following services:
(i) Multimedia data service. SCHOLNET will employ current multimedia database technology in order to integrate a multimedia support server into the ETRDL architecture. This server will manage archives of multimedia documents, namely video documents.
(ii) Hypermedia annotation service. A server will be implemented to support the maintenance of collective knowledge and collaborative work.
(iii) Multilingual information access service. This service will enable monolingual access, search and retrieval in all languages used by the community. Two simple cross-language mechanisms will also be introduced: controlled vocabulary searching using a multilingual thesaurus, and free-text searching.
(iv) Personalised information dissemination service. This service will be implemented by a server, developed using software modules developed by the EUROgatherer Project (IE-8011) for user personalisation and information pushing. The complete SCHOLNET system will be widely experimented. Two large IT scientific communities will constitute the experimental environment.

Milestones:
User Requirement Report; System Functional and Architectural Specification Report; Enhanced Digital Library Working Prototype; System Evaluation Report; Experimentation Report; Exploitation Planning Report.
The project has delivered an enhanced digital library infrastructure, that can be used by different user communities to set up their own digital library. This infrastructure offers, in addition to the provision of standard digital library capabilities for information acquisition, description, archiving, access, search, and dissemination, functionality for: Accessing federated repositories that contain all relevant data for a scientific purpose. Support non-textual digital objects (technical reports, project deliverables, seminar videos, recorded demos, etc.). Permit on-line annotation on digital objects in any format, by peer reviewers, colleagues, students. Allow users to select their preferred interface language for searching. Provide personalised information dissemination. Find an appropriate copy of an article from a citation. The built infrastructure can be distributed. Each hosting organization can decide to maintain a subset of the services according to its computing and storage resources availability. The rest of the services can be shared.

Coordinator

GEIE ERCIM
Address
2004, Route Des Lucioles Sophia Antipolis
06410 Biot
France

Participants (6)

CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE
Italy
Address
Piazzale Aldo Moro 7
00185 Roma
FOUNDATION FOR RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY HELLAS
Greece
Address
Vassilika Vouton
17671 Iraklio, Crete
FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.
Germany
Address
Hansastrasse 27C
80686 Muenchen
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE EN INFORMATIQUE ET EN AUTOMATIQUE
France
Address
Domaine De Voluceau
78153 Le Chesnay
MASARYK UNIVERSITY BRNO - FACULTY OF INFORMATICS
Czechia
Address
Botanicka 68A
602 00 Brno
SICS, SWEDISH INSTITUTE OF COMPUTER SCIENCE AB
Sweden
Address
Isafjordsgatan 22
164 29 Kista