UKOLN AHDS Interoperability Across Digital Library Programmes? We Must Have QA!

This page contains access to details of a paper on "Interoperability Across Digital Library Programmes? We Must Have QA!" which was accepted for the ECDL 2004 Conference together with the accompanying slides.


The paper has been published in a special issue of LNCS entitled "ECDL 2004 Proceedings" - see paper details.

Copyright Details

The paper is ©Springer-Verlag.

Citation Details

Interoperability Across Digital Library Programmes? We Must Have QA!, Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries, 8th European Conference, ECDL 2004, Bath, UK, September 12-17, 2004 Proceedings, pp. 80-85. Editors: Rachel Heery, Liz Lyon ISBN: 3-540-23013-0, DOI: 10.1007/b100389


Digital library programmes often seek to provide interoperability through use of open standards. In practice, however, deployment of open standards in a compliant manner is not necessarily easy. The author argues that a strict checking regime would be inappropriate in many circumstances. The author proposes deployment of quality assurance (QA) principles which provide documented policies on the standards and best practices to be implemented and systematic procedures for measuring compliance with these policies. The paper describes the work of the QA Focus project which has developed a QA methodology to support JISC's digital library programmes. A summary of the application of the methodology to support selection of standards and the deployment of deliverables into service is given. The author argues that similar approaches are needed if we are to provide interoperability across digital library programmes.


This paper is available from the University of Bath repository.

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Access to the paper on this Web site is made available by kind permission of Springer-Verlag.

Reviewers Comments

The following comments were made by the reviewers of the paper:

Main Contributions (reviewer 1):

The paper covers a critically important issue for digital libraries. It proposes a distinctive approach representing a significant improvement on past practice and makes a good case for its widespread adoption by the digital library community.

Positive Aspects (reviewer 1):

The approach developed by the QA Focus is placed in the wider context and the difference between the proposed approach and previous efforts to achieve compliance with standards is well illustrated, through examples from the present and previous projects.

Main Contributions (reviewer 2):

The notion that standard descriptions should be separated from usage policies within specific DLs is an important issue to bring to the DL research community (it is likely that implementers know this).

The biggest contribution is specification of lightweight quality assurance examples.

Positive Aspects (reviewer 2):

The example in Figure 1 helps a lot.

The standards selection framework (table 1) will be good fodder for discussion in the DL community. It would be useful to see it directly connected to the various classes of standards for digitization, metadata, etc. although the accessibility examples suffice in this paper.

I like that there is some discussion of the tension between those actually building DLs and the policy requirements coming from external bodies. This seems to be a very real and costly issue and this paper should generate good debate in the ECDL community.

Main Contributions (reviewer 3):

Topical subject of relevance to DL community. This is a light-weight consideration of the topic, and is therefore recommended as a short paper - will need to ensure paper is of correct length for a short paper using Springer template.

Positive Aspects (reviewer 3):

Readable, argues case well. Gives practical examples.

Other Comments

The three reviewers provided valuable comments on the presentation of the paper. The points made have been addressed in the final version of the paper.