DL.org (Coordination Action on Digital Library Interoperability, Best Practices, and Modelling Foundations)
DL.org (December 2008 – November 2010) is an EU FP7 Co-ordination Action co-funded by the “Cultural heritage and technology enhanced learning” Unit. It aims at creating a framework where key representatives from major initiatives and on-going digital library and repository infrastructure related projects may collaborate, discuss experiences, exchange expertise, work on interoperability of their solutions, promote shared standards, and provide the research community with a deeper understanding of key issues and new directions. The ultimate objective of this project is to integrate the many DL efforts that are currently on-going, each one acting in isolation and adopting ad-hoc solutions and methodologies. By operating such integration the project is expected to facilitate the rapid advance of research and the development of new techniques thus promoting the creation of a European Information Space. The main mechanism that the project has put in place for achieving its objective is the formation of six Thematic Working Groups (WGs), each one targeting one of the six fundamental concepts of any information system: Content, User, Functionality, Quality, Policy, and Architecture. Each Working Group consist of a small number of experts in the corresponding concept, drawn from prominent projects and initiatives currently running in Europe and around the globe. By exploiting the results of these Working Groups and exiting scientific literature, a “Digital Library Technology and Methodology Cookbook” is being produced as one of the main outcomes of the project.
DL.org and D4Science share a strong focus on interoperability issues, therefore the collaboration between the two projects has been extremely natural. D4Science representatives have been invited to participate in the Content, Functionality and Architecture DL.org Thematic Working Group (WGs). Through their participation in these WGs they have had the opportunity to disseminate the D4Science solutions and to get feedback on them from the other WG members. They have also learned about problems and solutions applied in other contexts that might be usefully exploited in the D4Science e-Infrastructure framework. For example, provenance, policy, and quality interoperability, which are part of the issues discussed by the DL.org WGs, are emerging from the user scenarios as important challenges to be addressed in future version of the gCube system. The discussion held in the DL.org WGs have offered the opportunity to better understand the state-of-the-art in these areas and has opened the way to the identification of potential solutions to be implemented in future versions of the gCube system.
D4Science-II representatives have also, actively participated in events organised by DL.org. In particular, they have been invited to present interoperability solutions at the “All Working Group Meeting", held on 26th-28th May 2010 in Rome and to make demos of the system to the "DL.org Digital Libraries and Digital Repositories: Modelling, Best Practices & Interoperability - Autumn School", held on 3-8 October 2010 in Athens, and to the "Theory and Practice in Digital Libraries: A European Approach" Workshop held on 3 December 2010 in Athens. D4Science representatives have also submitted a paper to the “2nd DL.org Workshop - Making Digital Libraries Interoperable: Challenges and Approaches” which has been accepted for presentation and which will be included in the Workshop proceedings.
Finally, some of the D4Science-II solutions to interoperability issues have been included in the DL.org Interoperability Cookbook.
From the dissemination point of view, D4Science-II and DL.org regularly share news on each other events and achievements.
The above collaboration is officially described in a DL.org-D4Science-II Memorandum of Understanding which has been signed by the coordinators of the two projects.
Plans for the future
The collaboration with DL.org is expected to continue until the end of this project with a level of involvement similar to the one put in place until now.