An applications framework which enables the effective management of distributed collections of autonomous, heterogeneous information resources and services now needs to be constructed. Services for discovery (catalogues and bibliographic services), ordering, publishing and archiving of electronic and print materials are being developed and integrated. The MODELS project provides a forum within which the UK library and information communities can explore some of the issues that now need to be addressed in the construction of such a framework.
The project has the following objectives:
The development of distributed library and information systems will be complex and many layered. We have identified five (intertwined) lines of strategic service development to be pursued by the project:
Treated singly, the development of robust sustainable services in each area
presents major technical and organisational challenges. Each will be considered
and supported by a programme of work which includes:
At the end of the project these lines will be brought together and some scenarios of integrated service provision presented. The aim is to facilitate the development of a shared view of preferred future developments, not to identify neat answers.
ELib is providing funding for four of the workshops as well as for systems engineering consultancy from Fretwell-Downing to complement UKOLN's library service expertise. The British Library Research & Innovation Centre (RIC) is funding the fifth workshop. The rest of the project will be funded by UKOLN, which is supported in turn by grants from JISC and RIC.
The majority of the work will be carried out by UKOLN staff, who will do background research, facilitate the meetings and draw the conclusions together. The resource discovery and metadata line will be developed in association with ROADS. However to be successful, it is important that the project lever the effort and interest of a variety of different groups; UKOLN is working closely with eLib, the British Library, Project EARL and others.
Strategic direction comes from a Steering Committee comprising Richard Heseltine (University of Hull), Chris Rusbridge (eLib Programme Director), Neil Smith (British Library), Peter Smith (LASER) and UKOLN staff. A European member will also be involved.
Within each project line a small group of key individuals is also being invited to advise on direction and plan the workshop. Such individuals are drawn from the library and information community, industry and research sector as appropriate.
Activities will be supported by UKOLN information services, including the development of appropriate Web pages, mailing lists and reports in the Ariadne Magazine.
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