Fleur writes: A small warning….This is a long post about (open source) e-Infrastructure and (Open Access) digital repositories. It has a somewhat techie feel to it and infrastructure is not one of my favorite topics, but when one goes a bit below the surface, some interesting developments pop up.
Having established the necessary network of people and institutions, the Driver network is now working on an actual pan-European infrastructure for digital repositories.
Uhm, come again…?
According to the Driver website, the main aim is to build a Digital Repository infrastructure: “Digital Repositories form an integral part of the e-infrastructure for research. They provide the content as a third layer to the existing data network (GEANT2 and NREN’s) and Grid-middleware infrastructure layers.
The repositories contain today the full spectrum of scholarly materials, from theses, technical reports and working papers to digitised text and image collections and they can contain sets of primary research data.(…)
A future, Europe wide Digital Repository Infrastructure will be a virtual network of physically distributed and decentrally maintained repositories from all countries in Europe. The plan is, to organise in an incremental process networks of institutional repositories on the national level, exploit them and take them from there to the European level, similar to the organisation of GEANT. State-of the-art middleware will be implemented to offer researchers a virtual single content resource, which can be used for highly effective information access and exploration.”
So basically, Driver wishes to build up a critical mass of research materials (as they underline, “a powerful demonstration of research output in Europe”, and inspiring “innovation in a wide variety of sectors and communities”) and make it available via a new infrastructure. Once it is ready, each repository will maintain its own identity and will be clearly marked with a label of the providing repository host.
“DRIVER is integral to the suite of electronic infrastructures that have emerged in the worldwide GÉANT network and is hence funded under the e-Infrastructures call of the European Commission’s 7th framework programme.”
Recently they announced the software release D-NET v. 1.0. “this open source software offers a tool-box for deploying a customizable distributed system featuring tools for harvesting and aggregating heterogeneous data sources. A variety of end-user functionalities are applied over this integration, ranging from search, recommendation, collections, profiling to innovative tools for repository manager users.”
The press release continues: “A running instance of the software, namely the “European Information Space”, maintained by the DRIVER Consortium to aggregate Open Access publications from European Institutional Repositories, can be accessed online at: http://www.driver-community.eu (Search the Repositories Portal).”
So who is involved…?
DRIVER involves many major (institutional) players from different European countries. It is driven by a forum – termed “confederation”. To a large extend, the organisation makes use of national correspondents.
The Advisory Board Members are:
Norbert Lossau, DRIVER Scientific Co-ordinator (Chairperson)
Dale Peters, DRIVER Scientific Manager (Organiser)
Michele Kimpton, DSPACE Foundation
Sandy Payette, Fedora Commons
Tom Baker, DCMI / W3C
Suzanne Dobratz, DINI
Herbert VanDeSompel, OAI-PMH / -ORE
Kat Hagedorn, OAIster
John Wilbanks, Creative Commons
Lars Björnshauge, DOAJ
Tony Hey, Microsoft Technical Computing
Hans Geleijnse, LIBER
David Prosser, SPARC Europe
Melissa Hageman, Open Society Institute
Rima Kupryte/Iryna Kuchma, eIFL
Sijbold Noorda, European University Association
Paul Ayris, Director, UCL Library Services / Co-Director DART Europe
Alma Swan, Consultant, Key Perspectives
Clifford Lynch, Executive Director, CNI
Leo Waaijers, OA activist, former SURF manager
“Towards one e-Infrastructure”: BELIEF’s portal allows you to explore everything about e-Infrastructures and the global virtual research communities that they empower. The related Digital Library you can find at http://belief-dl.research-infrastructures.eu/