European Libraries and Electronic Resources
in Mathematical Sciences

Project Description

Objectives of the Project

Objectives of the Project

The aim of the project is to provide strictly user-oriented, integrated network based access to mathematical publications. The EULER service intends to offer a "one-stop shopping site" for users interested in Mathematics. Therefore, an integration of all types of resources mentioned above is necessary. Since EULER will combine descriptions of resources (the bibliographical databases) with the fulltext of documents, free resources with commercial ones and databases with very different structures, retrieval systems and user interfaces, this integration must built upon common resource descriptions. This glue or intermediate level is accomplished by using descriptions of all resources following the Dublin Core (DC) metadata standard, recently developed and published as an Internet draft.

Technically, the integration of the different resources will be accomplished by producing DC metadata for all resources (by means of conversion, automatic generation or metadata creator software), and collecting it into frontend databases for every individual EULER service. A retrieval and search software, the EULER Engine, will use these metadata databases as sources for a distributed search service. The integration approach will be based on the Z39.50 standard or on HTML-form based data interchange.

At distributed servers, multilingual EULER service interfaces will be provided as entry points to the EULER Engine, offering browsing, searching, some document delivery and user support (help texts, tutorial etc.).
The interface will be based on common user friendly and widely used Web browsers (public domain or commercial) such as for example Netscape. The (multi-lingual) user interface has to have the common features of every good Internet service and a self-explaining structure. The user has one single entry point to start of his information search. The searching will contain

Full access to the implementations of the project results will be available at all participating libraries (SUB, UNIFI, NetLab, CWI), and in a regional network of French research libraries (coordinated by MathDoc), taylored to specific institutional needs. Restricted demo access will be available for the general public. The European Mathematical Society will encourage European mathematicians from research, education and industry to use and evaluate the new services. Overall scientific quality of the services will be secured by the appropriate Committees of the European Mathematical Society.

The main objectives of the project correspond to a set of workpackages:

An initial Requirements Analysis workpackage covers

* User Requirements, final discussion and definition.

* Revision of methodologies, test and evaluate alternative concepts for the EULER system; integrate new relevant developments in the EULER system.

* Standard developments monitoring, observing the developments of new important relevant standards, participation in relevant standard definition discussions.

The Resource Adaptation workpackage will built the basic set of EULER Metadata Databases that are finally accessible from the EULER Engine.
* Scientific Bibliographic Databases

* Library OPACs

* Preprint Servers

* Refereed Electronic Journals

* Mathematical Internet Resources

Bibliographic Databases and OPACs will cover the broader scenario of automatic metadata to metadata conversion.
Refereed Electronic Journals, Preprint Servers, and Mathematical Internet Resources will cover the broader scenario of resources harvesting, metadata creation (automatically or manually), and access to networked resources.

The EULER Engine Implementation workpackage - carried out in parallel to the Resource Adaptation workpackage - will design and implement the EULER Engine. The EULER Engine acts as an "intelligent" gateway between users and the metadata databases produced in WP-2 by providing:

* user oriented interfaces and help tools

* the capability to re-map searches and browsing to the metadata DBs

* the capability to collect answers (i.e. hits) and to present them by ranking, filtering, ordering etc.

This includes both the user interfaces and the interfaces to the partners metadata databases and other selected Internet resources.

During the Evaluation and Demonstration workpackage - carried out after the release of the EULER Engine (beta version) - selected groups of users will start system evaluation. The WP intends to measure the system suitability and scalability and the satisfaction level of users with the service.

The last workpackage is Information Dissemination and Exploitation Preparations. Information dissemination will take place via professional journal articles, presentations at conferences, TAP concertation meetings, and similar events. Relevant reports of the project will be made publically available on the World Wide Web. The final exploitation plan for EULER services and other project results will be prepared. Commercial exploitation for future operation of EULER services and transfer of EULER results other subject domains will be considered.