Science of Digital Libraries(SciDL)
Fox, Edward A.
Carroll, John M.
Cassel, Lillian N.
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Our purpose is to ensure that people and institutions better manage information through digital libraries (DLs). Thus we address a fundamental human and social need, which is particularly urgent in the modern Information (and Knowledge) Age. Our goal is to significantly advance both the theory and state-of-theart of DLs (and other advanced information systems) - thoroughly validating our approach using highly visible testbeds. Our research objective is to leverage our formal, theory-based approach to the problems of defining, understanding, modeling, building, personalizing, and evaluating DLs. We will construct models and tools based on that theory so organizations and individuals can easily create and maintain fully functional DLs, whose components can interoperate with corresponding components of related DLs. This research should be highly meritorious intellectually. We bring together a team of senior researchers with expertise in information retrieval, human-computer interaction, scenario-based design, personalization, and componentized system development and expect to make important contributions in each of those areas. Of crucial import, however, is that we will integrate our prior research and experience to achieve breakthrough advances in the field of DLs, regarding theory, methodology, systems, and evaluation. We will extend the 5S theory, which has identified five key dimensions or onstructs underlying effective DLs: Streams, Structures, Spaces, Scenarios, and Societies. We will use that theory to describe and develop metamodels, models, and systems, which can be tailored to disciplines and/or groups, as well as personalized. We will disseminate our findings as well as provide toolkits as open source software, encouraging wide use. We will validate our work using testbeds, ensuring broad impact. We will put powerful tools into the hands of digital librarians so they may easily plan and configure tailored systems, to support an extensible set of services, including publishing, discovery, searching, browsing, recommending, and access control, handling diverse types of collections, and varied genres and classes of digital objects. With these tools, end-users will for be able to design personal DLs. Testbeds are crucial to validate scientific theories and will be thoroughly integrated into SciDL research and evaluation. We will focus on two application domains, which together should allow comprehensive validation and increase the significance of SciDL's impact on scholarly communities. One is education (through CITIDEL); the other is libraries (through DLA and OCKHAM). CITIDEL deals with content from publishers (e.g, ACM Digital Library), corporate research efforts e.g., CiteSeer), volunteer initiatives (e.g., DBLP, based on the database and logic rogramming literature), CS departments (e.g., NCSTRL, mostly technical reports), educational initiatives (e.g., Computer Science Teaching Center), and universities (e.g., theses and dissertations). DLA is a unit of the Virginia Tech library that virtually publishes scholarly communication such as faculty-edited journals and rare and unique resources including image collections and finding aids from Special Collections. The OCKHAM initiative, calling for simplicity in the library world, emphasizes a three-part solution: lightweightprotocols, component-based development, and open reference models. It provides a framework to research the deployment of the SciDL approach in libraries. Thus our choice of testbeds also will nsure that our research will have additional benefit to and impact on the fields of computing and library and information science, supporting transformations in how we learn and deal with information.