ERCIM News No.22 - July 1995
Digital Libraries -
A New ERCIM Programme for Research and Development
by Tom Baker and Carol Peters
At their Board Meeting of June 7th at VTT, Helsinki, the ERCIM Directors gave their full backing to an innovative proposal presented by a group of ERCIM researchers. The immediate aim is to establish an ERCIM programme for research and development in the area of digital libraries. In the longer term, ERCIM is to set up a European digital library to support academic and industrial research in information technology and applied mathematics. It was recognized that a number of important initiatives are underway in this key sector in the United States, but that so far there have been no comparable initiatives of a pan-European character. Moreover, the Board of Directors saw giving priority to this field as very much in harmony with the goals of the International Web Consortium led by MIT and INRIA.
The Directors thus took three important decisions:
In addition, ERCIM is planning an exchange programme for young scientists in the digital libraries area with the University of Michigan.
- to focus the ERCIM fellowship programme for the next few years, starting with the October 1995 call, on the digital library area (e.g., on topics such as multimedia information storage, retrieval, filtering, networked database systems, distributed computing, and hypermedia). ERCIM Fellowships give roughly ten young scientists per year the opportunity to conduct research at ERCIM Institutes.
- to encourage basic research in the field by supporting the activities of the DELOS working group created by a group of ERCIM researchers and coordinated by Costantino Thanos of CNR, Italy. Funds have been requested for this working group under the EU long-term research programme.
- to support the SAMOS project coordinated by Jacques Ducloy of INRIA, France, which intends to build a Web-based library of the technical reports produced by ERCIM institutes. The SAMOS Project intends to work with the Computer Science Technical Report Project in the USA, a collaboration between five leading universities and the Corporation for National Research Initiatives. ERCIM's participation will effectively double the size of a common technical report collection, making European research results more accessible to colleagues abroad, and vice versa. Moreover, it will create a forum where the major computer science institutes of Europe can collaborate with their US counterparts in the further development of key standards. Particular importance will be given in this project to aspects of interoperability and multilinguality and to promoting collaboration between IT researchers and ERCIM librarians.
Jacques Ducloy - INRIA
Tel: +33 83 592055
or Costantino Thanos - IEI-CNR
Tel: +39 50 593492
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