ROADS Software
Information Gateways
ROADS Liaison
Template Registry
Cataloguing Guidelines
What is ROADS
ROADS Guidebooks
Mailing Lists
Papers and Reports
Related Initiatives

ROADS logo

ROADS Interoperability Guidelines

Appendix II: Projects concerning interoperability


MODELS (MOving to Distributed Environments for Library Services): <URL:>

The MODELS project is funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee of the UK higher education funding councils under its Electronic Libraries (eLib) programme. MODELS was motivated by a recognised need to develop an applications framework to manage the rapidly multiplying range of distributed heterogeneous information resources and services being offered to libraries and their users. It was felt that, without such a framework, networked information use would not be as effective as it could be. MODELS essentially provides a forum (primarily in the form of a series of workshops) for exploring shared concerns, addressing design and implementation issues, initiating concerted actions, and working towards a shared view of preferred systems and architectural solutions. Metadata and resource discovery issues have featured widely in MODELS discussions. For example, the MODELS 2 workshop was simultaneously the OCLC/UKOLN Warwick Metadata Workshop (now known as DC-2) that developed the concept of the Warwick Framework.

MODELS has also focussed considerable attention on interoperability issues. The MODELS 4 workshop was concerned with integrating access to resources across domains (defined as institutions, disciplines or regions) and identified a systems framework that would use a layered approach to cross-domain resource discovery. At the highest layer, this system could utilise a simple generic metadata format (like Dublin Core) for basic resource discovery. At lower layers of resource discovery, the same systems could be configured to use descriptive information from domain-specific metadata formats. Rosemary Russell (UKOLN) characterises this as enabling a user, "in a single search environment, to 'drill down' or move progressively through a hierarchy of increasingly rich and specialist metadata as they ... [move] through a continuum from resource discovery to resource evaluation, access, and use" (Russell 1997, p. 19).

2. The Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS)

Arts and Humanities Data Service: <URL:>

The Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) is funded by the JISC to collect, describe, and preserve the electronic resources which result from research and teaching in the humanities. The AHDS consists of five subject-based service providers that (amongst their other responsibilities) need to operate within a resource description context appropriate to their own subject domain. For example, the Oxford Text Archive - the AHDS service provider for literary and linguistic texts - would normally describe resources using the independent headers (Giordano 1994; 1995) developed by the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). The AHDS has a need for a system that would

The system will provide unified access to the resource description systems of AHDS service providers using a Z39.50 gateway (Dempsey, Russell and Murray 1998, p. 950).

3. BIBLINK: Linking Publishers and National Bibliographic Services

BIBLINK: Linking Publishers and National Bibliographic Services: <URL:>

The BIBLINK project is funded by the Telematics Applications Programme of the European Commission and aims to create an electronic link between publishers of electronic material and national bibliographic agencies. The project is concerned with the creation of a custom-built software system (known as the BIBLINK Workspace) that will convert publishers' metadata in either a type of an extended DC known as BIBLINK Core (BC) or two particular SGML DTDs into the UNIMARC format. UNIMARC records will then be converted into the formats used by the participating national bibliographic agencies. The BW system will use metadata mappings produced for the project, including a BC-UNIMARC crosswalk (Day 1998b) based on an earlier document mapping DC and UNIMARC (Day 1997). The BIBLINK project and its context is described elsewhere (Day, Heery and Powell 1999).

4. The Nordic Metadata Project

The Nordic Metadata Project (funded by the Nordic Council for Scientific Information - NORDINFO) produced a variety of tools for the wider utilisation of Dublin Core (Hakala et al. 1998). The toolkit includes a utility called "d2m" a Dublin Core to MARC converter which will convert Dublin Core metadata embedded in HTML into the Nordic MARC formats and USMARC (Nordic Metadata Project 1998).

5. The Stanford Digital Library project

The Stanford Digital Library project (Paepke et al.1996; Baldonado et al. 1997; Paepke et al. 1998) approached interoperability from the ...

Rather than invent a new standard, the Stanford team proposed the use of proxies [...]

[Brief description of Stanford project]

[Metadata issues - InfoBus metadata architecture]

[Specification of metadata sets = Bib-1 attribute set, Dublin Core]

6. References

Baldonado, M., Chang, C-C.K., Gravano L. and Paepcke, A., 1997, The Stanford Digital Library metadata architecture. International Journal of Digital Libraries, 1 (2), pp. 108-121.

Day, M., 1996, Mapping between metadata formats. <URL:>

Day, M., 1997, Mapping Dublin Core to UNIMARC. <URL:>

Day, M., 1998, Mapping BIBLINK Core (BC) to UNIMARC. <URL:>

Day, M., Heery, R. and Powell, A., 1999, National bibliographic records in the digital information environment: metadata, links and standards. Journal of Documentation, Vol. 54 (forthcoming).

Dempsey, L., Russell, R. and Murray, R., 1998, The emergence of distributed library services: a European perspective. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 49 (10), pp. 942-951; here p. 950.

Giordano, R., 1994, The documentation of electronic texts using Text Encoding Initiative headers: an introduction. Library Resources and Technical Services, 38(4), pp. 389-401.

Giordano, R., 1995, The TEI header and the documentation of electronic texts. Computers and the Humanities, 29 (1), pp. 75-84.

Hakala, J., Hansen, P., Husby, O., Koch, T. and Thorborg, S., 1998, The Nordic Metadata Project: final report. Helsinki: Helsinki University Library, July. <URL:>

Nordic Metadata Project, 1998, d2m : Dublin Core to MARC converter. <URL:>

Paepcke, A., Chang, C-C.K., García-Molina, H. and Winograd, T., 1998, Interoperability for digital libraries worldwide. Communications of the ACM, 41 (4), April, pp. 33-43.

Paepcke, A., Cousins, S.B., García-Molina, H., Hassan, S.W., Ketchpel, S.P., Röscheisen M. and Winograd, T., 1996, Using distributed objects for digital library interoperability. IEEE Computer, 29 (5), May, pp. 61-68.

Russell, R., 1997, UKOLN MODELS 4: evaluation of cross-domain resource discovery. In: Discovering online resources across the humanities: a practical implementation of the Dublin Core, edited by Paul Miller and Daniel Greenstein. Bath: UKOLN on behalf of the Arts and Humanities Data Service, pp. 18-21.

Go to Main Guidelines

Go to Appendix I: Sample ROADS templates

Maintained by Michael Day of the UKOLN Metadata Group.
Last updated: 18-Jan-1999

ROADS Software Information Gateways ROADS News ROADS Liaison InterOperability Template Registry Cataloguing Guidelines What is ROADS ROADS Guidebooks Mailing Lists Papers and Reports Related Initiatives