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Researching and developing Virtual Scotland: a perspective from the Centre for Digital Library Research

Nicholson, D. (2000) Researching and developing Virtual Scotland: a perspective from the Centre for Digital Library Research. Electronic Library, 18 (1). pp. 51-62. ISSN 0264-0473

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Abstract

Scotland, with its Parliament recently re-established after 300 years, is likely to see the development of a networked service to make electronic information, learning and research materials readily available to all of its citizens as a key aim in the early part of the twenty-first century. The newly-created Centre for Digital Library Research (http://cdlr.strath.ac.uk/) at Strathclyde University (http://www.strath.ac.uk/) in Glasgow aims to be a significant player in the process of making the vision a reality, whilst also contributing to international research efforts in the area. Bringing the networked service of the future into being requires collaborative research and development effort in a range of areas - from identifying and documenting current problems and establishing future requirements, to work on major elements of the problem such as user needs and user interfaces, collaborative collection development, content creation and maintenance, interoperability problems, navigation and integration issues, access control, metadata, and standards and policy frameworks. The Centre is already working with stakeholder institutions, organisations and individuals across the country on a number of relevant projects and initiatives that will contribute to understanding and develop expertise in these areas. Many of them have a practical focus that will help to partially implement the kind of environment envisaged. Examples are GDL (the Glasgow Digital Library project ), CVU (Clyde Virtual University project) (http://cvu.strath.ac. uk/), CAIRNS (Co-operative Academic Information Retrieval Network for Scotland) (http://cairns.lib.gla.ac.uk/), SCONE (Scottish Collections Network Extension project) and DIO (Digital Information Office project).