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The Isaac Network

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  1. The Isaac Network Susan Calcari Director, Internet Scout Project scout.cs.wisc.edu

  2. Internet Scout Project: Surf Smarter • Scout Report • Subject Specific Scout Reports • Scout Report Signpost • Net-happenings, Net-newsletters • KIDS Report • Scout Research: The Isaac Network

  3. Today’s Topics • “The Crete Meeting” -- Cooperation between Subject Gateways, held at EDLC, Crete, September 1998, organized by UK • “The View from the States” • The Isaac Network: One contribution to the “IMesh”

  4. I. “The Crete Meeting” • Inspired by UK discussions of the future of “subject gateways,” e.g. coverage, sustainability • 2nd Annual European Digital Library Conference: EDLC • Informal meeting of 25 participants from 15 countries

  5. Discussion • Common questions worldwide: • Duplication and gaps in subject coverage • Ongoing funding, self-sufficiency • Interoperability and standards • Need for guidelines for subject gateway development to facilitate cooperation

  6. Identified Common Needs • Summary of existing gateways • “Best practice” guidelines • Definition(s) of “quality resources” • Scope of content • Interoperability and standards

  7. Result: Workshops Series for development of “IMesh Guidelines” • Modeled on the success of the Dublin Core Workshop series • Invited group: 30-40 experts in related fields • UK: Spring 1999 CEI/JISC funded • USA: Fall 1999 NSF funded (proposed)

  8. II. Vision: The View from the States • The Amazing Internet Challenge: How Leading Projects are Organizing the Internet • Guide to 12 resource directories • Mission, collection, staffing, timeline, software, hardware, budget, future, vision • ALA Editions, Spring 1999

  9. The Amazing Internet Challenge Higher Education BUBL EEVL OMNI SOSIG AgNIC Argus Clearinghouse InfoMine Scout Report Signpost Public Libraries Internet Public Library Librarians’ Index to the Internet K-12 Blue Web’N Undergraduate Education Math Archives

  10. Working Together • Educators and librarians will continue to use a wide variety of sources; special interest directories will play an important role • Organized and presented by those expert in the systemization of knowledge • Willingness to learn from success and failure of both ourselves and others

  11. Cooperate, Interoperate • Cooperate to avoid duplication of effort on content • Devise a division of responsibility • Standardized content and quality guidelines • Reasonably similar user interfaces • Development of an “information architecture”

  12. Metadata (!) • Consistent metadata standards • Metadata applied by neutral, expert third parties • Mapping of different metadata schemas across collections • Standardized indexing schemes

  13. III. The Isaac Network: Resource Discovery Goals • Search highly selective collections of resources, hand-chosen by information specialists • A single query will reach geographically distributed collections • User doesn’t need knowledge of all collections • Ultimately the end user is judge of what is relevant and credible: we can narrow the subset

  14. Content Development:Top Down or Bottom Up? • Funding = Audience = Funding • Local projects, funding based on local needs, local audience • Most chance for longevity: “projects” are becoming part of operations • Bonus: As content providers they want to share their work more broadly

  15. Needs of Content Providers • Content providers need to retain control • Content, look and feel, maintenance of records • Application of metadata • Retain ownership and credit

  16. Goals of the Isaac Network • Build an infrastructure for sharing and searching metadata from distributed metadata collections • Test bed for experimentation with metadata, indexing, and query referral systems • Develop collaborative laboratory for future research: indexing algorithms, assisted robots

  17. Potential Content Partners • While primary audience is higher education, all are welcome and encouraged to join • Government, public libraries, non-profit, commercial • May be focussed on a single discipline, or cover a broad subject range • Closed system maintains quality • Can be a “full node” or a “collection node”

  18. Built on Existing Work • ROADS: Whois++ • Directory Services: LDAP • Lightweight Directory Access Protocol • White pages directories • Common Indexing Protocol (CIP)

  19. Three Components of the Information Architecture • Index service: • Common Indexing Protocol (CIP) • Search service: • Lightweight Directory Access Protocol: LDAP • User Interface: • Web browser, forms

  20. Index Service: CIP • Generates indexes from each collection of metadata • Gathers indexes from other nodes • Installs indexes on “full nodes” to use for referrals

  21. Search Service: LDAP • Makes metadata collection available for indexing and searching • Query processing, returning results • Query referrals

  22. User Interface: Web forms • Web browser, using forms • Locally configurable • Multiple access points to Isaac Network

  23. Scout Team Support • Software suite • Technical expertise and support • Software installation and configuration • Data extraction • Metadata development • Field determination • Schema mapping • Documentation • Outreach and dissemination

  24. Content Partner Criteria • Metadata applied: DC or mapped to DC • Minimum field set: • Title, author, subject or keywords, resource description, URL • UNIX host • Expertise to work with Scout team • Data extraction and conversion • Metadata mapping

  25. Isaac Interoperability • ROADS • Demo version of LDAP/Whois++ “gateway” • UK recently announced the Resource Discovery Network Center (RDNC) • Centralized support for subject gateway development and operations: existing and new gateways • CHIC Pilot • TERENA project to implement cross-searching across national research networks in Europe

  26. Special Study Guides/SSG-Fachinformation Lower Saxony State and University Library, Goettingen, Germany Utilizing “complete” set of Dublin Core fields Cornell Law Library: InSITE Filemaker Pro database Added author field at our request Current Content Partners

  27. BUBL EEVL OMNI SOSIG DTV - Denmark EdNA - Australia Responses: International

  28. AMICO - museums InfoMine Internet Public Library Librarians’ Index to Internet State of Washington Responses: Established Projects

  29. DigLib - Louisiana State University ELVIS - Seneca College History Matters - CUNY, GMU Vlib: Library Resources - Indiana University, Bloomington Responses: Local Projects

  30. Cataloging tools harvest embedded metadata for human augmentation Indexing methods Search capabilities Ranking Proximity Future

  31. Will be more than one “solution” Networks will interoperate at content level US/UK/Australian collaboration A Vision: IMesh

  32. Internet Scout Project Susan Calcari scal@cs.wisc.edu scout.cs.wisc.edu /scout-research Architecture Overview for Collaborators