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Developing the European digital library for economics

Objective

The goal of DECOMATE II is to develop an end-user service which provides access to heterogeneous information resources distributed over different libraries in Europe using a uniform interface, leading to a working demonstrator of the European Digital Library for Economics. The project will cover both heterogeneous materials (i.e. copyright and non-copyright materials of different types and formats) and distributed access (i.e. allowing users to access resources in any of the participating libraries though a single, uniform interface). Decomate II will include personalised user services (based on tools for document delivery, current awareness services and user profiling) and enhanced techniques for knowledge navigation. Access management and accountability facilities are the other main areas of the Decomate II project. The project will be a demonstrator and a test bed for license agreements with publishers and information providers, and for models of use of digital library services. Extensive user studies should develop new insights on user behaviour among others by establishing long-lasting contacts with end users throughout the project. Finally the Decomate II software release will be tested in several European test sites to gain extensive knowledge on best practice project results and installation and to gain knowledge on the costs and real efforts incurred with the eye on finding realistic exploitation scenario's after the project's end.

Technical approach

The project will be based on all relevant open standards (e.g. HTTP, Z39.50, SQL, ODBC) and will be designed in a modular but generic way to allow upgrading to new versions of standards and new technologies for specific functions. The system will run in a WWW environment and constitutes a client-server agent oriented architecture. The system development methodology is based on the principles of prototyping.

Key issues

Licenses, content definition and acquisition
Access to multiple distributed databases
Advanced access to information
Current awareness services
Access control, accounting and document delivery
User studies

Impact, users and expected results

Expected benefits are the better usage of scientific electronic material in an educational environment independent of the geographical location of the user through improved accessibility. User will have access to a wide range of information resources and be able to choose between different levels of copyright and payment requirements.

The project will result in a visible example of interconnected library services, integrating various functions to provide a full-scale virtual library service to end-users.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Tilburg University Library
Address

5000 LE Tilburg
Netherlands

Participants (2)

LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS
United Kingdom
UNIVERSITAT AUTONOMA DE BARCELONA
Spain