Taming the digital data-sphere
Europe has thousands of digital libraries and archives in various institutions across the continent. These internal information repositories or data that has been converted to digital format for safekeeping. The type of information that the remains of a civilization or the sum of human knowledge, science and language, to the literary works of great scholars.
But while the digital record keeping has its advantages, it also raises some problems of its own. The platforms and technologies used to create and maintain these digital databases may change or become obsolete. The software or systems used by different repositories, such as Italy may be different from those used in Belgium or Sweden. And as time passes, the ability to recover such data – this documentary value of humanity – can be compromised, also known as a problem inherited a database ‘.
The volume and variety of information, large technological differences and linguistic diversity are even more barriers to access to knowledge content in digital repositories. Only those with access to appropriate technology, or knows how to create complex queries database to gain entry.
This is likely to change for the better. The driver is a project coordinated, multi-phase effort of scientists from European information to create cohesion, strong and flexible, pan-European infrastructure for digital repositories. Researchers have already created a search engine that brings together over an open access millions’ of 260 articles of the main institutions of Europe.
Open access is a major theme of the project. Much of the publicly funded research ends up locked in proprietary journals, accessible only by subscription often expensive. The Open Access movement is to reverse that trend, to make readily available published research, especially through Internet.
Where possible, Europe now requires that publicly funded research be freely accessible to the general public and researchers, but they are still technological bottlenecks. The driver project is to combat the bottlenecks step by step, and now has a stable version of its technology available to casual surfers and serious scientists.
The infrastructure, of course, links various repositories of knowledge, but also provide sophisticated services and functions for researchers, administrators and the general public. It is the largest effort of its kind in the world and intends to enhance worldwide development of the repository.
The EU-funded DRIVER project has conducted an extensive research program with a modest budget of just € 2.5 million for phase 1 and € 3.4 million second phase, lasting until November this year.
His work ranges from fundamental issues of technology interfaces (how the user interacts with technology) and international standards. The main technology focus is D-NET v1.0, a suite of open source software – meaning that nobody can work with the underlying code. The system allows users or institutions, no matter where you are in the world, to personalize your experience. What’s more, it is extensible which means that new services can be created on top of the system.
D-NET is a true pioneer. Allows users to collect together content from different open access institutional repositories and presents the content of an equitable and publicly accessible.
The software has been released under the Apache open source license and is available in http://www.driver-repository.eu/Downloads. D-NET can be used by anyone wanting to create a portal similar services that provide the driver search portal, for example, national or thematic starting their own initiatives.
Moreover, institutional repositories can use the software to connect and allow its content is accessible from the driver or any of the other portals deployed.
So far, the work of the driver’s technology has created a stable platform that is accessible to any text document, but investigators will continue the development until the system can access content from any media.
“Really, this is a project that will never end, because there’s always something to do, or the new standards and emerging technologies to be added to D-NET” concluded Professor Yannis Ionannidis DRIVER coordinator. “We have reached a milestone, but it is the first of many.”
The project received funding from ADC research infrastructure priority under the Sixth Research Framework Program.
More information: DRIVER project II: http://www.driver-repository.eu/
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