ERCIM News No.27 - October 1996

The ERCIM Digital Library Initiative

by Costantino Thanos

ERCIM has recognised the great importance of digital libraries and undertaken a number of actions with the aim of promoting research activities and creating a research community in the digital libraries field in Europe:

DELOS Working Group

A working group, DELOS (see article in ERCIM News No.25), funded by the ESPRIT long term research programme has been set-up. The main objective of DELOS is to contribute to the advancement of digital library construction. The intention is to promote research into the further development of digital technologies. The working group has identified a wide range of important research issues. A Digital Libraries research agenda has been defined which includes the following key research areas: interoperability, description of objects and repositories, multilingual multimedia information retrieval, user interfaces and human-computer interaction, economic, social, and legal issues.

European Series of Conferences on Digital Libraries

The organization of a series of conferences on research and advanced technology for digital libraries by ERCIM has been funded by the Training, Mobility and Resources (TMR) programme of the European Union. The aim is to give researchers from universities, research centres, industry and government the opportunity to meet once a year to discuss evolving research issues and applications. The intention is to provide a European forum in which to identify key problems, and to propose and encourage specific, high-priority research themes.

The first conference will be held in Pisa in September 1997

SAMOS Digital Library

ERCIM is now organising a new project called SAMOS for the development of a networked computer science technical report library. The SAMOS library will be a distributed digital library storing and providing access to technical reports from the ERCIM labs. SAMOS will provide benefits to scientists (both as readers and authors) and ERCIM research institutions. Researchers (both from academia and industry) throughout Europe will be able to use familiar Internet tools (the World Wide Web) to search, browse, read, and download technical reports of the participating labs. The SAMOS system will be an open system. This means that other European institutions (university computer science departments, research organizations, industrial R&D departments) could be connected to SAMOS and have access to a large number of European technical report collections. SAMOS has been recognised as a G7 attested project.

Collaboration with the US Digital Libraries Community

A number of contacts have been established between the ERCIM and the US Digital Libraries communities aiming at creating a fruitful collaboration between the two communities. In particular, ERCIM has been accepted as a member of the US Networked Computer Science Technical Report Library (NCSTRL) Consortium. The ERCIM coordinator of the digital library activities has been invited to join the NCSTRL Steering Committee. This consortium has been set-up with the aim of further developing the Dienst system (CS-TR project). The cooperation between ERCIM and the other NCSTRL members will facilitate the connection between SAMOS and the new Dienst systems. It will, thus, be possible to query from Europe any US collection of technical reports connected with the Dienst system, and vice versa. In addition, a proposal for cooperative European and US working groups on digital library research and development has been submitted for funding to the National Science Foundation and the ESPRIT programme of the European Commission. The ERCIM DLI web page is at

Please contact:
Costantino Thanos - IEI-CNR
ERCIM DLI Coordinator
Tel: +39 50 593429

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