The main goal of the project is to further the development and improvement of national bibliographic services, through testing a demonstrator service involving new links between publishers and national libraries or national bibliographic agencies. There is currently no adequate bibliographic control over electronic publications, nor is there an agreed standard of bibliographic description for many types of electronic publication. National libraries need to secure authoritative advance information about new electronic publications. For the publishers of electronic materials there is a need to register new electronic publications (whether they are on-line publications or off-line - e.g. CD-ROM - publications) and to carry enriched bibliographic data as an integral part of the electronic publication. The project will deliver an interactive prototype/demonstrator system which will enable publishers of electronic documents to input and transmit an agreed minimum level of data to national bibliographic services, allowing those services to enrich and retransmit it to the publishers.
The project is conducted in two phases. The first phase investigated and developed consensus on data formats, data content, transmission standards, and on document identification and authentication. This was carried out in conjunction with publishing and booktrade organisations. The result was a feasibility analysis and general specification for the demonstrator.
In the second phase, a full functional and technical specification will be developed, the demonstrator built, in an iterative process with the libraries and publisher partners, and subjected to validation through the test sites..
The main technical issues to be explored are:
agreed standard format for data to be transmitted, capable of conversion as necessary to MARC-based formats for library use;
investigation of approaches to encoding metadata, unique document identification schemes for electronic documents, transmission of data, and authentication of electronic publications;
integration of the above into a functional specification for the demonstrator;
development of consensus among the different interests on the standards and norms to be used;
test the system and evaluate impact on the market.
Impact and expected results
The demonstrator will allow national libraries to exercise appropriate bibliographic control over electronic documents, making their discovery and retrieval more effective. The embedded data will add value to the documents distributed by the publishers and provide libraries who acquire the documents with catalogue data. Test sites involving variously the 3 different categories of users - national libraries and publishers; intermediary organisations such as library utilities and systems suppliers; and individual libraries - will be established in the 5 participating countries. These will be used to assess the technical feasibility but also the operational and service feasibility and impact on the market.
The results will be: definitions of agreed formats; definitions of data elements; assessment of authentication issues and possible solutions; transmission requirements and standards; functional specifications; demonstrator service, for national libraries and publishers, and their customers.
The main technical deliverables in the first phase are a series of publicly available reports on:
Format conversion feasibility
Transmission of data
Authentication of electronic documents
plus reports defining the scope, the consensus building results, and the minimum data set.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts