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 Delos handbook

The Digital Library universe is a complex framework. The growth and evolution of this framework in terms of approaches, solutions and systems has led to the need for common foundations capable of setting the basis for better understanding, communicating and stimulating further evolution in this area. The DELOS Digital Library Reference Model aims at contributing to the creation of such foundations. It exploits the collective understanding on Digital Libraries that has been acquired by European research groups active in the Digital Library field for many years, both within the DELOS Network of Excellence and beyond, as well as by other groups around the world. It identifies the set of concepts and relationships that characterise the essence of the Digital Library universe. This model should be considered as a roadmap allowing the various players involved in the Digital Library domain to follow the same route and share a common understanding in dealing with the entities of such a universe. This volume presents the DELOS Reference Model by introducing the principles governing it as well as the set of concepts and relationships that collectively capture the intrinsic nature of the various entities of the Digital Library universe. Because of the broad coverage of the Digital Library universe, its evolving nature, and the lack of any previous agreement on its foundations, the Reference Model is by necessity a dynamic framework, as is also this document. Continuous evolutions of the document are envisaged in order to obtain a number of well-formed and consolidated definitions, shared by the Digital Library community. The Structure of the Volume The volume is organised in three parts, each potentially constituting a document in its own right. Each of the three parts describes the Digital Library universe from a different perspective that is driven by a trade-off between abstraction and concretisation. Thus each part is equally important in capturing the nature of the Digital Library universe. The second part is based on the first one, and the third part is based on the second, i.e. they rely on the notions described previously when introducing additional information that characterises these notions more precisely. In particular, ‘PART I The Digital Library Manifesto’, already published as a separate document in January 2006, introduces the main notions characterising the whole Digital Library universe in quite abstract terms; ‘PART II The DELOS Digital Library Reference Model in a Nutshell’ treats these notions in more detail by introducing the main concepts and relationships related to each of the aspects captured by the previous one; finally, ‘PART III The DELOS Digital Library Reference Model Concepts and Relations’ describes each of the identified concepts and relations in detail by explaining their rationale as well as presenting examples of their instantiation in concrete scenarios. Although it is possible to choose different routes through the volume, or simply focus on a single part, the whole is structured so that it can be read from cover to cover. Section I.1 introduces ‘PART I The Digital Library Manifesto’ by providing the driving force pervading the whole activity. Section I.2 presents the relationships between three types of relevant ‘systems’ in the Digital Library universe, namely Digital Library (DL), Digital Library System (DLS) and Digital Library Management System (DLMS). Section I.3 describes the main concepts characterising the above three systems and thus the whole Digital Library universe, i.e. content, user, functionality, quality, policy and architecture.

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