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An Open Collaborative Virtual Archive Environment

An Open Collaborative Virtual Archive Environment


CYCLADES is part of a collaborative EU-US research proposal aimed at developing an open collaborative e-print archive environment to support virtual scholarly communities. From the architectural viewpoint, this environment will comprise two interacting components: the archives and the services. The former consists of heterogeneous multidisciplinary archives and supports interoperability between them. The latter is composed of a number of independent but interoperable mediator services to support both single scholars and communities of scholars in their work. The CYCLADES proposal focuses on the service environment development. The twin US proposal will be responsible for the archive environment development. Technically, CYCLADES builds on the on-going US Open Archives initiative (OAi), currently involving several large archives. CYCLADES will support information access, personalization, recommendation and collaboration services.

The main objective of CYCLADES is to develop advanced Internet accessible mediator services to support scholars both individually and as members of networked communities when interacting with large interdisciplinary electronic (e-print) archives. Such archives are important vehicles for the dissemination of preliminary results and non-peer reviewed "grey literature". Most focus on information dissemination within disciplinary or institutional communities. However, scientific research is now oriented towards an interdisciplinary approach. Scientists thus need to easily retrieve information from diverse sources, and to communicate and collaborate across traditional community boundaries. CYCLADES aims at supporting the transition of e-print systems into genuine building blocks of a transformed scholarly communication model by developing a set of leading edge technologies providing innovative methods for information access, dissemination, sharing and collaborative work.

Work description:
The proposed open archives environment consists of two components: the archives and the services. The implementation of the former will be carried out by the US partners in the context of the Open Archives initiative (OAI), which aims at guaranteeing interoperability among e-print archives. The OAI has established a set of simple but potentially powerful interoperability specifications that facilitate the development of third party services. CYCLADES will base the development of the service environment on these specifications. In particular, a core set of cross-archive value-added services will be developed to constitute a federation of independent but interoperable services. According to this approach, a service provides functionality and can either work independently or can communicate and collaborate with other services to offer a new value-added service. The Service Environment will provide OAi compliant functionality.

Here below we list the main CYCLADES services:
Access: supports harvest-based information gathering, plus indexing and storage of gathered information in a local database.
Query and Browse: develops plans for the execution of user queries. An ad-hoc or a profile-based user query will be decomposed into more simple sub-queries to be sent to the Access service for execution. The results of the sub-queries are fused and returned to the user. A browse facility is also supported.
Collection: provides mechanisms for dynamically building meaningful collections.
Personalisation: supports information personalization on the basis of single user profiles, and of an individual's behaviour as a member of a community.
Recommendation: provides recommendations to satisfy information needs of a user by exploiting both user and community profiles.
Collaborative Work: supports collaboration between members of virtual communities. Community working areas are created to use the OAi content in collaborative work. There will be extensive experimentation.

An Open Archives Service Environment Architecture;
Access Service Working prototype;
Collection Service Working prototype;
Personalization Service Working prototype;
Recommendation Service Working prototype;
Collaborative Work Service Working prototype;
Query and Browse Service Working prototype;
A Working Open Archives Service Environment;
A System Evaluation Report;
A System Experimentation Report;
An Exploitation Plan;
A Dissemination Plan.

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2004, Route Des Lucioles Sophia Antipolis
06410 Biot


Administrative Contact

Jean Eric PIN

Participants (4)

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Project information

Grant agreement ID: IST-2000-25456

  • Start date

    1 February 2001

  • End date

    31 July 2003

Funded under:


  • Overall budget:

    € 2 151 523

  • EU contribution

    € 1 200 560

Coordinated by: