Posts Tagged ‘Technology & Methodology Cookbook’ London Workshop off to a great start

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Seamus Ross

The Workshop on Digital Libraries & Open Access. Interoperability Strategies at the British Academy in London kicked off with a welcome to the DL statekholder community in attendance this morning. Dr Seamus Ross, Dean and Professor at the Faculty of Informatics, University of Toronto thanked the attendants for their support of the event, outlining the main goals of the event. He outlined the main focus of the project, now drawing to an end, in terms of the main outputs presented at the Academy: the Digital Library Reference Model and Technology and Methodology Cookbook. These outputs have drawn on the experiences and knowledge  of representatives flanked by an international team of experts on domains spanning content, functionality, user, policy, quality and architecture. Several experts are in atendance to offer their insights and how collaborative work has helped shape the main project outputs.

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RFC Version of the Cookbook released

Thursday, October 14th, 2010 Cookbook - Request for Comment

The demand for powerful and rich Digital Libraries capable of supporting a  broad  variety of interdisciplinary activities and the pressing need to address the data deluge are intimately bound up with the increasing need for “building by re-use” and “sharing”. Interoperability plays a crucial role in responding to these needs. Despite efforts to address interoperability, current solutions are  still limited. The lack of a systematic approach on the one hand and scarce knowledge of  current solutions adopted on the other are among the main impediments to interoperability. What’s more, solutions are  all too often confined to the systems they have been designed for.

Chartered with addressing interoperability challenges, the project and its contributing experts have produced a Request for Comment  version of the Technology and Methodology Digital Library Cookbook. The Cookbook is aimed at collecting and describing a portfolio of best practices and pattern solutions to common challenges face when it comes to developing large-scale interoperable Digital Library systems.

This first Request for Comment (RFC) version of the Cookbook, which should not be considered neither authoritative nor final but rather as a “work in progress” with the aim of enhancing it through external feedback.

Contributing to the Cookbook
Requests for Comments regard both the Cookbook as a whole, as well as on any of its components by leveraging expertise outside the project. The Cookbook main components are:

  • Interoperability Levels&  Digital Libraries
  • Interoperability Model/Framework
  • Interoperability Model in Action
  • Best Practices for organisational, semantic and technical interoperability across six core DL concepts (content, functionality, user, policy, quality and architecture)
  • Interoperability Scenarios

Feedback on the Cookbook is requested until the end of November 2010 and should be sent to To provide feedback in the form of a blog posting, please contact Before sending feedback, we strongly advise you to read the terms and conditions.

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Perspectives on Interoperability

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Two European projects, and and Europeana, are both facing the challenges of interoperability but from different perspectives. Europeana, a multilingual single-access point to Europe’s cultural heritage, needs to find a viable solution to the interoperability challenge while implementing a large-scale operational DL system.

To  achieve this goal, Europeana has to solve many interoperability issues. These fall into two main categories, that is, issues arising:

  • from the provider side, that is, when gathering content from provider institutions
  • from the consumer side, that is, when third parties use the Europeana services either as end-users or as service providers.

In the first instance, Europeana must interoperate with memory institutions to get the metadata used to offer its services. This is currently achieved by adopting a standard solution, namely the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, or OAI-PMH for short.  Once Europeana acquires the data, it has to map it from the original format to the Europeana Data Model. This mapping requires the knowledge of the semantics of the source and target data models. It can thus be regarded as a semantic interoperability problem at the content level.

And the consumer side?

Europeana is making its contents available through a number of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), each one addressing the needs of a particular category of users. These APIs will be used by consumers to obtain services from Europeana based on the outcomes of negotiations between the parties concerned.

By contrast, is aimed at developing a comprehensive framework that characterises various interoperability challenges and promoting solutions systematically. Within this framework, representatives from major initiatives and on-going projects can work with, deliberating key issues, sharing experiences and expertise, working on the interoperability of their solutions, and promoting shared standards. expects to provide the DL research and application community with a deeper understanding that will pave the way towards innovative foundational and technical advances.

In particular, the project is facing the interoperability challenge from diverse perspectives, encompassing architecture, content, functionality, policy, quality, and user, aimed at contributing to raising awareness on the intrinsically multi-faceted nature of interoperability.

The Role of the enhanced DL Reference Model

As a result, the enhanced Reference Model (V1.0 with new versions planned) characterises the DL universe in terms of well-established concepts and relationships, thus providing a conceptual framework within which interoperability issues can be addressed.

DL Technology & Methodology Cookbook

This outcome will be enforced by the DL containing guidelines, best practices, enabling technologies and approaches guiding DL developers and designers with off-the-shelf certified solutions ready to be used when dealing with interoperability. & Europeana Strategic Alliance
Because of their complementary missions, and Europeana can benefit from the outcomes achieved by both projects. The outcomes of the research conducted by can be effectively leveraged by Europeana during its next phases when a more sophisticated interaction scheme with providers and consumers will be defined. Vice versa, the experiences and knowledge gained by Europeana provides extremely valuable input and feedback to activities.

How do we interact? & Europeana work together on different levels. Several Europeana experts are members of’s Working Groups:

Carlo Meghini, Institute of Information Science & Technologies at the National Research Centre of Italy and Stefan Gradmann, Humboldt University (Germany) are both members of the Content Working Group.

Bram van der Werf serves as a member of the Architecture Working Group.

Read our interview with Jill Cousins, Director of Europeana.

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