The CAIRNS project - Co-operative Academic Information Retrieval Network for Scotland
Helena Gillis, Project Co-ordinator
as of June 1998
The Scottish university libraries have worked together for some years under the auspices of the Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries (SCURL) and have successfully worked on a number of collaborative projects including SALSER, CATRIONA and SCOPE. The SCURL membership also includes the National Library and the large public libraries - it represents a significant national scholarly resource.
The CAIRNS project will be led by the University of Glasgow and will include 16 Scottish sites including East Dunbartonshire Public Library.
The overall objective is the establishment of a SCURL clump which will link library catalogues using Z39.50 (via the Web). However the project plans to allow the SCURL clump to be configurable as a number of "sub-clumps" which will be generated dynamically to allow searching across geographical, material type or subject based groupings. The project will take advantage of the Scottish work on Conspectus and SCURL's RCO (Research Collections Online) service as the basis for the subject-based dynamic clumping.
CAIRNS aims to integrate 25 Z39.50-compliant library catalogues or information services across Scotland into a functional and user-adaptive test-bed service. This will offer efficient and effective search and retrieval capabilities across a clump of services comprising all of the individual CAIRNS bibliographic databases and also across various smaller sub-clumps, and will provide:
With these aims in mind, the project will also:
The existence within the clump of servers describing and delivering electronic resources (BUBL, SLAINTE) will also enable a limited amount of investigation of cross-domain implications, particularly in respect of CAL packages (cf. CATRIONA II).
User access to the test-bed service will be via Z39.50 or WWW clients or if required by telnet. Suppliers whose systems are included in the clump are III (INNOPAC), Geac (GEOPAC and GEOWEB), Ameritech (Dynix Classic, Horizon, NetPublisher, Webpac, RSAS servers all included), VTLS, MDIS, SIRSI, SilverPlatter, and OVID.
Three kinds of clumping service will be investigated:
and will offer access to the following:
Sub-clumps would include:
Dynamic Clumping Service
The project will take advantage of SCURLs WWW/Z39.50 conspectus-based Research Collections Online (RCO) service as the basis of a subject-based dynamic clumping service. This will provide users with dynamically generated subject-based sub-clumps of SCURL catalogues to search via Z39.50. An extension of this would enable users to be presented with subject-based sub-clumps dynamically generated via searches of catalogues of electronic resources: BUBL-LINK, SLAINTE, CATRIONA II demonstrator and Strathclyde University Librarys Z39.50 compliant WWW server.
To the extent that time and resources permit, the project will also investigate a number of issues of subsidiary interest:
The University of Glasgow is the primary lead site and the University of Strathclyde the secondary lead site. The following institutions are also members of the project: University of Aberdeen, University of Abertay Dundee, University of Dundee, University of Edinburgh, Glasgow Caledonian University, Heriot-Watt University, Napier University, Paisley University, Queen Margaret College, The Robert Gordon University, University of St. Andrews, University of Stirling, National Library of Scotland, and East Dunbartonshire public library. The project operates under the auspices of SCURL
The Electronic Libraries Programme (eLib) was funded
by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)
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