ILSES is designed to serve both end-users and content-providers of socio-economic information. For end-users ILSES facilitates the integrated access and retrieval of two different kinds of information:
documentary information as is commonly available from libraries;
empirical data as archived by data archives.
ILSES allows end-users to extend literature research and searches with a focused access to empirical data which can or have been used in empirical research of the kind reported in the literature they review. This allows them to extend classic literature research with their own original empirical analyses of relevant data. ILSES also offers alternatives in directing data analysis and searching for specific empirical data for secondary analysis. For content-providers ILSES offers tools and procedures for the normalisation, cataloguing and controlled distribution of (distributed) holdings of documentary and data resources. ILSES will enable content providers to increase and improve the utilisation of their information resources while at the same time reducing their support burden per information request or retrieval.
ILSES is designed as an open system which can be applied to different kinds of library and data holdings. In this project, however, a pilot application will be focused on socio-economic information as collected by large scale surveys, and on the associated literature. ILSES is based on integrated relational databases of meta-information pertaining to both library and data archive holdings, both of which are typically distributed over many different institutions. In order to productively connect such holdings with each other and with end-users, ILSES provides a wide area network interface utilising Internet and supporting browsing and retrieval tools such as WWW.
Integration of meta-information databases with library holdings;
increasing use and access to distributed holdings in special libraries;
potential replication in other application domains and datasets;
open access to networked library holdings through generic interfaces;
development of a service model.
Impact, users and expected results
Following the development of a prototype service, the ILSES service will be expanded to a larger set of Eurobarometer surveys. The consortium also intends to invite other related libraries, institutes, and archives to set up their own holding within the ILSES framework thus stimulating the opening of other socio-economic documentary sources and related datasets.
The results of the ILSES project will be exploited by transferring the ILSES approach to information sources of other disciplines. It is foreseen that the way in which ILSES opens and relates library information and empirical datasets is also of large interest for other disciplines. The ILSES concept will also be promoted in other fields of application, eg. chemistry, medicine, language technology.
The ILSES functional specifications have been completed as have the first three modules (Administrator-ILSES, LIB-ILSES and DAT-ILSES). Several concertation meetings have been held with the NESSTAR project. Other work is proceeding on schedule.