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 EULER-TAKEUP Project: Objectives

Supported by the IST Programme of the European Community
Project Number IST-2000-29445

Project objectives

Project goal
The goal of this project is to upgrade the existing EULER prototype service into a European based world class real virtual library for mathematics (pure and applied) by a process of technological adaptations/consolidations, and implementation of a sustainable business model and its promotion among users and suppliers.

Project objective
The objective is to make the EULER service a world reference and delivery service, offering full coverage of the mathematics literature worldwide, including bibliographic data, peer reviews and/or abstracts, indexing, classification and search, transparent access to library services, cooperation with commercial information providers (publishers, bookstores) with a European basis.

Operational goals and means for their achievement
Based on the achievements of the successfully completed EULER project (FP4 "Telematics for Libraries" project LB-5609, see below for a short description), it is proposed that the EULER service be consolidated and adapted according to the latest user studies and experiences from the EULER project by a consortium made up of a subgroup of participants of the EULER Consortium. The EULER-TAKEUP consortium is thus a small sub-group of partners from the larger EULER Consortium. It will act as a task force of the EULER Consortium to achieve the following specific goals:

The principal aims of this adaptation of the EULER service will be:

The EULER service aims at providing a gateway to the electronic catalogues and repositories of participating institutions, while the latter shall retain complete responsibility and control over the creation and maintenance of their data collections as well as the access provisions pertaining to their offerings. As the main results from the EULER project, we rely upon the very successful prototype software and other main achievements, together with a good analysis of user needs, and mature ideas about sustainable service implementation and business models, which are the main focus. Technological adaptations are important - as the current prototype has the usual weaknesses of every software prototype -, but technology does not play the main role in this project. Currently, the EULER Consortium has identified three viable alternatives for technological adaptations and fine tuning. Option one is a consolidation of the currently used prototype software, option two is an adaptation to tools that would provide additional features as they have been requested by users, and option three is an adaptation to a centralized service hosting model.

Baseline data
Background: The EULER project
From April 1998 to September 2000 the European Commission had been funding the EULER project in the framework of the `Telematics for Libraries' sector from the Telematics Applications programme. The main goal of EULER was to integrate different, electronically available information resources in the field of mathematics. EULER has successfully constructed a digital library in mathematics from existing heterogeneous sources. When the project started - but still today - there was a rapid increase in the number of networked resources with information on scientific results and ongoing developments in the field of mathematics. The user had to switch between a growing number of systems with heterogeneous user interfaces:

These resource types are considered to be the most frequently used when conducting searches for scientific results. They are rarely interconnected and users have to search them one by one. The aim of the EULER project was to offer a one-stop-shopping site for users interested in mathematics. One single integrated networked based access point has been developed, covering a representative collection of the mentioned publications-related information resources in mathematics. A common user interface, available on the World Wide Web, allows homogeneous access to all integrated information types. The interface was developed in close cooperation with the mathematical user community. Only one search is necessary to generate a broad range of (mixed) hits, irrespective of resource type and information provider. The EULER services were developed starting with selected important information sources from the consortium partners. The goal was to design an open architecture. New sources of data from other information providers and libraries can be added easily.
The integration approach makes use of common resource descriptions based on the Dublin Core (DC) element set and access to those descriptions via the Z39.50 protocol. Technically, all information providers have produced DC metadata for their resources and offer them as distributed databases, which are located at the providers' sites. The central EULER Engine queries these databases in parallel via a common Z39.50 profile and performs result set merging and presentation formatting. The integration approach takes into consideration the requirements of the user community and the different information providers. Participating institutions are still autonomous in deciding on their scientific and organisational policies, while at the same time providing a common access strategy to their information services. The foremost requirement to achieve such an aim was to choose and apply suitable standards, formats and protocols.

Measure of success
As a result of the project's activity, a consolidated EULER software and service will be implemented, based on user requirements and technical environment studies. A business model will be proposed, leading eventually to a sustainable service. Information dissemination activities, and service evaluation by expert users will contribute to a better understanding of the response to the service and show directions for future developments.


©2001, 2002 EULER Consortium
Supported by the IST Programme of the European Community: Project EULER-TAKEUP (IST-2000-29445)