ERCIM News No.26 - July 1996 - GMD
Paris Workshop looks at Digital Library Activities
by Tom Baker
A ERCIM-sponsored workshop on the Networked Computer Science Technical
Reports Library (NCSTRL) at the Fifth International World-Wide Web Conference
in Paris on 6 May brought together 22 researchers to discuss European-American
collaboration in building digital libraries.
Carl Lagoze of Cornell University and Jim Davis of Xerox PARC, designers
of the Dienst system for distributed repositories, described NCSTRL as a
Web-based collection of technical reports, an open architecture for testing
digital library standards and technology, and an organizational context
for developing digital library policy. Dienst presents distributed servers
as single collection over which users can perform uniform searches and which
supports access to works in multiple formats. While current versions run
on HTTP, future implementations will be based on an open and extensible
NCSTRL works closely with the NSF/ARPA/NASA Digital Library Initiative,
with Harvest, and with ERCIM, which participates in its steering committee.
In the long run, NCSTRL aims at broadening the scope of its collection,
both scientifically and internationally, and at achieving self-sustainability.
Jacques Ducloy of INRIA-Lorraine reported on progress made in setting up
an ERCIM network of Dienst-based servers in Europe. ERCIM researchers are
adapting advanced retrieval engines and designing multilingual interfaces
for searching the federated collections. ERCIM will also provide mirror
sites for NCSTRL in Budapest, Nancy, and Heraklion.
Jakka Sairamesh of FORTH presented research on a pricing and charging mechanism
over Dienst that charges users according to quality of service requested.
In a demonstration of its prototype, the FORTH team showed how users can
adapt their choice of retrieval site and document format based both on cost
of object and current cost of access, calculated from server load conditions.
Stuart Weibel of the Online Computer Library Center described the consensus
achieved at a recent workshop hosted by the UK Digital Libraries Programme,
with ERCIM endorsement and participation, on the design of a general container
framework for metadata (see 'Warwick Framework' in
Mahfoud Galloul of the Faculty of Law, University of Lyon 3, described the
evolving legal framework for such distributed collections within the European
Union. While the Anglo-Saxon concept of copyright entails the cession of
rights to publishers, the continental European Droit d'Auteur could allow
one to limit the time during which a publisher can assume these rights if
an author were previously to sign an agreement with an academic host.
Now that European law is moving towards copyright, less favorable to the
redistribution of published works on the Web, the concept of Droit d'Auteur
should be creatively applied to the academic networks.
Tom Baker - GMD
Tel: +49 2241 14 2171
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