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IBM Research Report RJ 9840, May 1994. Submitted to IEEE Computer Society Press, Proc. Workshop on On-line Access to Digital Libraries

Digital Library : Gross Structure and Requirements (Report from a Workshop)

lundi 30 mai 2005, par Collecte CND R.L

Digital library (DL), also called electronic library, has suddenly changed from the relatively obscure concern of a few people in computer science and in library disciplines to a popular topic for many research groupsFo93b,Fo93c, with the prospect of productive applications in the near future.

Commercial, academic, and public interest are fuelled by U.S. Government interest led by Vice President Gore, under the National Information Infrastructure label, and the national press, under the Information Superhighway slogan.

Between November 1993 and February 1994, at least four topical conferences were announced for this area, which had seen no similar calls for papers before that.

The participants of a March 1994 workshop at the annual Conference on Artificial Intelligence for Applications (CAIA) in San Antonio agreed it worthwhile to document its deliberations, notwithstanding their tentative nature, as a starting point for similar discussions in other 1994 conferences. In addition to plenary sessions, the work group included meetings of subgroups directed at :

1. Digital Library Models, Frameworks, and System Requirements

2. Library Sciences and Automation

3. Information Retrieval, Organization, Navigation - Tools and Paradigms

4. Digital Library Specific Nomenclature, System Integration and Architecture Issues

5. Interfaces to Digital Libraries - Information Delivery and Presentation Issues

6. Role of Knowledge Representation Systems in Digital Library Interactions This paper reports opinions shared in the first subgroup, drawing on elements of the plenary session, and including refinements generated as we prepared the manuscript.

Bounds of the Topical Area The DL topical area currently lacks clear boundaries with related areas and internal taxonomy, at least in the sense of large group consensus about these factors.

We cannot discuss system requirements without tackling these topics, and without straying into the other subgroup focal topics, particularly that of the fourth subgroup.

Nor can we find a logical order for the discussion and report an order that avoids forward references and assumptions.

We therefore abandon any attempt to do so, and focus on what we mean by digital libraries, on a system taxonomy for distributed data services, and on system requirements in that order, trying for clarity rather than any form of completeness or precision.

Hopefully what is presented is a useful start for iterative refinement.

One may take either an expansive or a narrow attitude about the boundaries of the topic at hand.

Retrospection suggests an unspoken and unresolved difference of attitude among DL workshop participants about this.

We give scant attention to borderline topics below ; for instance, we treat electronic publishing as an outside topic even though a future library enterprise may well include publishing material derived from its own unique contents, as the U.S. Library of Congress is already considering doing.

Some workshop participants tended to include topics at the periphery as part of the DL topic ; others preferred to exclude peripheral topics whenever possible, especially topics already being tended by other interest groups.

Such tension is natural because the technology potentially blurs organizational, human role, and task distinctions that evolved in a world of books and book-like materials.

Our report deals only with aspects that distinguish DL services from other topics. This approach is not intended to imply a consensus among the authors, but rather is a practical way to control the report length and to focus attention on topics less thoroughly addressed elsewhere.

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