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Subject Based Information Gateways in The UK Coordinated Activities in The UK Within the UK Higher Education community, the JISC (Joint Information Systems.

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Presentation on theme: "Subject Based Information Gateways in The UK Coordinated Activities in The UK Within the UK Higher Education community, the JISC (Joint Information Systems."— Presentation transcript:

1 Subject Based Information Gateways in The UK Coordinated Activities in The UK Within the UK Higher Education community, the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) funds a wide range of computing and IT services, together with additional funding initiatives. UKOLN is funded by the Library and Information Commission, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) of the Higher Education Funding Councils, as well as by project funding from the JISCs Electronic Libraries Programme and the European Union. UKOLN also receives support from the University of Bath where it is based. The JISC Web Site Further information on JISC and on JISC services is available at. JISC Services A summary of two JISC services is given below. EDINA (Edinburgh Data and Information Access) provides national online services for the UK higher education community, giving access to bibliographic databases and digital map data. NISS provides comprehensive information services designed to meet the needs of staff and students in Higher Education.

2 Subject Based Information Gateways in The UK The eLib Programme In addition to JISC Services, the JISC funds a number of programme areas, including eLib, the Electronic Libraries Programme. Access to Network Resources The eLib programme has funded several projects which provide access to network resources. The Subject Gateways provide searching and browsing of quality manually catalogued resources. The Subject Gateways also provide additional, valued-added services, such as producing thesauri, delivering training and publishing newsletters. Searching OMNI Browsing SOSIG The EEVL Home Page

3 Subject Based Information Gateways in The UK Quality Criteria Documented quality criteria for cataloguing resources and maintenance of the resources is of great importance to subject gateways. Typically subject gateways will have a scope policy and a selection policy. OMNI's Guidelines for resource evaluation DESIRE Guidelines The EU-funded DESIRE project has developed guidelines and tools for libraries and institutions interested in setting up subject based information gateways. See. Future work will include the development of machine-readable definitions of quality- criteria (using RDF), tools to assist creation of the metadata and end- user support for their use in subject gateways.

4 Subject Based Information Gateways in The UK The User Perspective The subject-based information gateways in the UK are highly- regarded by their users. Components of a Successful Subject Gateway A successful subject based information gateway relies on: Quality resources in the gateway Comprehensive cataloguing guidelines Input from subject and information specialists Provision of value added services, such as training, advice, newsletters, etc. for the cataloguers and the end users EEVL traffic has shown a steady growth since its launch, with usage reflecting cycles in the academic year. EEVL was launched in The photograph shows members of EEVL's Board and Team. User Feedback "I must say that I have never found a more useful and professional engineering site as EEVL on the Internet..." – Helena Klein, Lund University "EEVL continually astonishes me by how good it is, and the excellent new features that keep being added. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!" – Mary A. Axford, Reference Librarian, Georgia Institute of Technology "...tremendous resource for information in all fields of engineering!" – NSF Library Newsletter

5 Subject Based Information Gateways in The UK Software Tools The ROADS software includes several tools which are used by subject specialists when cataloguing resources. In addition other tools have been developed to support the needs of the information gateways. The software tools are normally open source, and based on open standards, such as XML and RDF. Resource Cataloguing The ROADS cataloguing template enables subject specialists to catalogue Internet resources. Catalogue entries may be stored in several formats, such as an RDF representation of Dublin Core. Metadata Management Metadata management tools such as DC-dot (illustrated) can reduce the costs of creation and maintenance of resource metadata. See.

6 Subject Based Information Gateways in The UK ROADS The SOSIG, OMNI and Biz/Ed subject based gateways make use of the ROADS software. ROADS (Resource Organisation And Discovery in Subject-based services) is a set of software tools to enable the setting up and maintenance of Web based subject gateways. Features of ROADS include: Management of catalogued resources, including automated link checking Support for the Dublin Core attribute set for resource discovery Distributed searching using the Whois++ protocol (as illustrated) Cross-searching in ROADS ROADS is widely used by a number of communities: National Gateways in the UK Academic Libraries e.g. the LASER gateway at Leeds University Internationally including the Alex Catalogue of Electronic texts and the Finnish Virtual Library project

7 Subject Based Information Gateways in The UK Who Uses ROADS? As well as the national subject based gateways, several other services use the ROADS software. Alex Catalogue of Electronic texts Finnish Virtual Library project Leeds LASER shows institutional Library use of ROADS EELS Gateway to Electronic Engineering resources NADIR - a German information centre for resources concerned with left- wing political activities A list of services using ROADS is available at

8 Subject Based Information Gateways in The UK Future Developments Although the subject gateways are appreciated by their user communities, they face challenges from automated search engines. New automated search engines such as Google and Clever are beginning to use specialised techniques (e.g. citation analysis) to improve the quality of search results. Some areas for future developments are given below. Quality Ratings Criteria such as resource quality and accessibility are stored (using RDF). End users can use these as search criteria. Automated tools will help cataloguers to provide such information. Collaboration Information gateways in the UK HE community welcome the opportunity to collaborate with others in this area. The IMesh mailing list and website was set up following the Second European Conference on Digital Libraries to provide a forum for international collaboration on Internet subject gateways. For further information see Collaboration Information gateways in the UK HE community welcome the opportunity to collaborate with others in this area. The IMesh mailing list and website was set up following the Second European Conference on Digital Libraries to provide a forum for international collaboration on Internet subject gateways. For further information see

9 Subject Based Information Gateways in The UK Future Developments Proposals for future developments include development of the IMesh Toolkit to support maintainers of subject gateways and the enhanced functionality for end users. The toolkit approach aims to provide an architecture into which subject gateway components can fit. This will enable shared development of tools (for example link checkers and language translators) across different services, protocols, etc. Toolkit Components of the proposed toolkit include: Metadata management: Format converters, automated generation of metadata, editing tools, etc. Distributed searching: A framework to support querying across multiple protocols. Registries: Tools for building, managing and querying metadata registries. Toolkit Components of the proposed toolkit include: Metadata management: Format converters, automated generation of metadata, editing tools, etc. Distributed searching: A framework to support querying across multiple protocols. Registries: Tools for building, managing and querying metadata registries. Partnership The proposal is based on a partnership between UK and US academic institutions which have much experience in this area. The toolkit and other deliverables are likely to be made freely available, under an open source licensing arrangement. Partnership The proposal is based on a partnership between UK and US academic institutions which have much experience in this area. The toolkit and other deliverables are likely to be made freely available, under an open source licensing arrangement. Technologies The proposed toolkit will make use of several technologies including: Metadata Formats: Dublin Core, GILS, etc. Query Protocols: Whois++, LDAP, Z39.50 and W3C's proposed new query language. Technologies The proposed toolkit will make use of several technologies including: Metadata Formats: Dublin Core, GILS, etc. Query Protocols: Whois++, LDAP, Z39.50 and W3C's proposed new query language.


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