As described in the National Budget, the Danish National Library Authority is responsible for the DEF secretariat. The aim has been to establish a close connection between the Authority’s overall initiatives and the work within DEF, and it is therefore the Authority’s deputy director, Bo Öhrström who has the day-to-day responsibility for DEF.
The secretariat’s fields of responsibility include administration of licenses, projects, homepage and the DEF portal – www.deff.dk – as well as servicing steering committee and coordination committee.
The secretariat comprises six members of staff, whose salaries are paid by DEF: The head of secretariat, a secretary, two members of staff working primarily with licenses and three working primarily with national infrastructure and subject portals. The head of secretariat and the secretary work primarily with financial matters, administration, service to the steering committee and project management.
Furthermore, one of the Authority’s consultants is permanently attached to the secretariat, working primarily with electronic publishing, digitisation, e-learning and library-IT. The Authority’s lawyer assists in contractual negotiations and deals with legal issues, while the Authority’s communication unit handles DEF’s communication activities.
In 2004 the secretariat was heavily engaged in assisting steering committee and programme committees in their preparation of future action plans as well as contributing to the coordination of the Ministry of Education’s re-entry.
The secretariat’s more technical tasks included the extension of DEFNet (access to journals) to more institutions, coordination of the migration of subject portals to common software and operating platform, as well as planning the merging of the two web sites deff.dk and deflink.dk.
The programme committees established in 2003 by the steering committee have carried out a large number of activities within the six action lines:
A cooperation between development of the end user’s information competency will be established and services developed which ensure that the end user can get guidance as well as instruction in information search via the Internet.
The programme committee for User facilities presented its first action plan to the DEF steering committee in 2004. In continuation of the DEF vision it states that the committee will “further the end users’ access to the research libraries’ information resources and remove the barriers that restrict this access”. The aim is to “inspire and initiate projects which will provide research library staff with tools, knowledge and qualifications to develop the libraries’ utility effect in relation to the patrons.”
The activities of the programme area in 2004 are outlined below, divided up according to action lines.
This was a project which involved 11 major Danish research libraries and 11 midway reports were produced during the summer. The reports form the basis for an analysis of how each of the participating libraries can improve their web sites. The final report (Det brugervenlige digitale forskningsbibliotek – (The user-friendly digital research library) by Jens Sandberg Madsen and Julia Garner, UNI-C, 2004 can be downloaded from http://www.deff.dk) was published in late 2004. One main conclusion in the report is that libraries face the very important task of making the use of electronic resources more user-friendly. The report also suggests several ways in which to solve this task. The project
was completed in March 2005 with a seminar to discuss the realisation of one of its visions, i.e. to establish fora where usability competence of research library staff can be maintained and developed, also after the project has finished. In 2004 the usability project has provided inspiration to a new, smaller project on patrons’ use of the Arcade-libraries’ portal expected to be launched in 2005.
In continuation of the major usability project, the committee began to outline a provisional marketing project on the use of electronic resources in the project libraries. This project is also expected to get off the ground in 2005.
The committee has also in this field given input to collaboration on starting new projects, and committee member Niels Jørgen Blåbjerg has introduced a project on remake of the interactive information competence software SWIM to the programme area for e-learning. Initiatives on library instruction in information competences has also been discussed, with a view to an upgrading of instructors and the committee has subsequently approached the Royal School of Library and Information Science about this.
The committee, represented by Poul Erlandsen, helped organise a seminar in November at The Royal Library where the American performance measurement ILL-specialist, Mary Jackson, presented the results of her latest performance report to 100 Danish, Norwegian and Swedish library staff. DEF provided financial support for the seminar.
A concrete cooperation is established on integration of library services in virtual learning environments. The cooperation includes clearance of rights, standards, preservation and general exchange of experience concerning support for e-learning.
The programme group for e-learning was established in its present form in spring 2004 with a view to providing greater coherence between e-learning and library services.
The programme group has over the past year defined its work and decided to concentrate on two action lines in particular. One has mainly concentrated on reporting on integration of DEF’s digital services and resources directly in e-learning portals. The other action line was directed at the development of models for involving research library resources – particularly library competences – directly in teaching programmes, often (in library circles) referred to as models for development of students’ competences.
In its long-term plan the programme group for e-learning works with areas designed to further develop cooperation with the world of further and higher education and institutions under the Ministry of Education, such as commercial academies, CVUs (centres for further education) and MVUs (medium-length further education). The group also wishes – when relevant – to place DEF in a national context where DEF will be involved in digital administration projects. This applies particularly to standardisation, single-logon, copyright, digitisation of teaching aids etc.
A number of projects were granted financial support from DEF in November 2004 and will be running all through 2005. One project is a further development of SWIM (Streaming Webbased Information Modules) which is run by Aalborg University Library. The new version of SWIM (named SWIM, vers. 2) will be in English and composed by a number of learning objects. Under IT-vest an integrated IT-teaching portal was launched, called DIGITEV. The project will utilise existing DEF resources by bringing them closer to the users. And finally, a very ambitious project run by the Danish Research Network has started with the State and University Library and Danish Radio’s digital film archive as partners. The project looks very promising indeed for the development of digital teaching aids.
Models for e-publishing will be developed and there will be cooperation on standards and software. The Danish National Research Database will be extended as an index of all Danish research.
The Danish National Research Database (DNRD) was evaluated in 2004. The evaluation identifies a great need among scholars, businesses, research advisers and mediators to be able to search for Danish publications and projects. The evaluation points out that the database should be improved in terms of coverage and quality. With this in mind, the steering committee initiated a pre-project in order to examine the basis for establishing a Danish research portal which would present research subjects in a journalistic style aimed at a broader target group and provide one of the entries to DEF. DEF must be further strengthened in order to become extensive and relevant for the target group.
In 2004 the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation put dissemination of research on the agenda and thereby also focus on the universities’ knowledge production. In future universities must promote and give access to research results etc. in the form of articles, conference proceedings and teaching aids. In 2004 a project with three universities have worked with three different aspects of establishment of local institutional repositories: Establishment based on an Open Source without significant in-house development (DSpace at Roskilde University Library), an interplay between Den danske forskningsdatabase (Danish Research Database) and own archive (ORBIT at Technical University of Denmark) and establishment seen as part of the submittal process in connection with theses (DiVA at Aarhus University). The project arranged a workshop in April.
Standards as the basis for digital preservation and guaranteed access to e-published information has been examined and described by a working group appointed by the programme area. The subsequent report – Survey of standardisation initiatives in e-publishing – is available at www.deflink.dk. The programme committee is represented in the working group for public information online which deals with unambiguous, continuous identification and addressing of objects.
Danish scholars must be given the opportunity to deposit own publications in local institutional repositories. This requires a solution to the problems in connection with scholars’ copyright. Basically, scholars own the right to their own works, e.g. an article in a journal, but this is often transferred to the publisher of the journal. A project outlining possible solutions to the copyright questions completed its work ultimo 2004 and was run by the State and University Library. Final report on the project E-publishing – questions of copyright is available at www.deflink.dk
The Administrative Library, The Royal Library, Copen-hagen Business School and Technical Knowledge Center of Denmark are partners in a pilot project aimed at assisting scientific journals, published by universities, libraries or societies, in connection with migration from printed to digital production. When changing to electronic publishing, small editorial offices might need to get a general idea of what systems are available. The project describes a number of different systems for e-publishing which can be used by journal editorial offices. The hope is to give the individual offices the possibility of choosing a system that fulfils their needs.
In a cooperation between the research libraries the pledged cooperation in connection with purchase of digital information will be extended. Cooperation on registration of periodicals and user statistics will also be established.
“The vision of DEF programme area Licenses is that scholars, teachers and students have access to all relevant information from publishers and scientific societies via user-friendly systems.” From DEF Licenses – Long-term plan for 2004-2005.
Once again the work within the programme area was in 2004 divided into two: The actual administration largely managed by the secretariat, and examination of new ideas and initiatives done in a cooperation between secretariat and license group.
DEFNet – a search tool for journals and an administrative system – started operating on 1. April, 2004. The system is used by about 30 institutions who can fully exploit the facilities, and anyone interested has access to parts of the search facilities.
The Ministry of Education’s re-entry into the DEF cooperation means that many new institutions are now given access to participation in the license collaboration. DEF offers easy terms of access to some of the products to give the institutions the chance to adjust their budgets in relation to the new possibilities.
Back files to ISI and Institute of Physics have been purchased and back files to Royal Society of Chemistry are soon to follow. The publishers’ deals have been closely examined and work has started on investigating the possibilities for dealing with archiving and ensuring continuous access to journal data in Denmark.
E-books is a popular subject with some libraries. Licenses for e-books have therefore been the subject of an analysis to be completed during 2005. Licenses for e-books are similar to licenses for journals in some ways, but there are also definite differences which the institutions have to make up their minds about.
The license group has also conducted animated discussions about distribution models for payment of licenses. The general consensus is that models based on subscriptions to printed journals are not really feasible in the long run, but as to what exactly should replace them, opinions tend to differ.
The general increase in the use of electronic services continues, but a few institutions have now had access to the services for such a long time that saturation point is close. By the end of 2004 licenses for more than 130 products had been signed, and the number of participants risen to 140.
The figure shows the number of downloads from the publisher Elsevier’s electronic journals as counted monthly from 2001-2004. It is very clear that usage is rapidly increasing. Part of the explanation is the increased number of participants in the license from 2001-2004 and the fact that more titles have become available. But the development from a total number of downloads of 283,440 articles in 2001 to a total number of downloads in 2004 of 1,098,607 articles – an increase of 287% - clearly indicates that the end user has ’embraced’ the electronic journal. Data from DTV’s DADS-service are not included
In a cooperation between research libraries there will be developed subject-specific and personalised entries to the libraries’ common information resources as well as tools for the establishment of such entries. A cooperation will be established on relevant parts of common information resources (DEF-Kat).
The programme area held five meetings during 2004. The area’s first project application was approved as early as autumn 2003 by the DEF steering committee – called Migration of DEF subject portals to Keystone. The project actually started in 2004 and is expected to be completed during the first six months of 2005.
The action line has had a busy year. Six portals have been moved to the Keystone platform and the seventh is on the way. The six portals are ARKADE, Bizigate, Food-i, Transportalen, Pedagogy- and Psychology Portal and the Energy portal.
At the moment work is going on with the migration of the last portal, i.e. The Virtual Music Library – DVM. This is the largest DEF portal and it has been a considerable challenge to move the portal from the eleven toolkit installations that form the old DVM portal to one Keystone installation. Much time has inevitably been spent on data conversion and development of a new functionality that allows for DVM’s particular complexity. Migration of DVM is expected to be completed in late spring. In 2004 the programme area arranged a special seminar on Keystone and similar initiatives will be taken in 2005.
Another project started in 2004 concerns the evaluation of the research libraries’ work in connection with the development of either subject guides or subject portals. A number of people in the research libraries are being interviewed, and the project seeks to identify how the building up of links collections has fared and to which extent the libraries expect to spend resources on this work in the future.
In late 2004 the programme area started a project under this action line. The aim is to implement a system of recommendation of library materials in two Danish research library catalogues in order to improve the catalogues with a new functionality. The project is expected to run for six months.
In a cooperation between research libraries, IT-systems will be purchased or operated which will strengthen the individual research library’s service level. The systems comply with common standards, will be part of the common (three-layer) architecture and will be made freely accessible to the extent this is appropriate.
At the beginning of 2004 the programme area System architecture defined a collaboration framework and a professional content covering a period of three years. The most important action lines are access control (AAI – Authentification and Authorisation Infrastructure) and XML/web services (XWS). These are very complex areas and cannot be handled sufficiently well through individual projects with changing staff from IT departments in different libraries. The programme committee therefore designed a model that included an agreed basis group from three of the strongest IT departments among the research libraries. The basis group carries out projects that run for shorter periods (typically 6-12 months) and are often run in collaboration with IT experts from other research libraries. The DEF steering committee approved the applications from the programme committee for this model and for six individual projects in January and May 2004 respectively.
Each of the two project areas is organised in project suites with activities running over the three years:
Relations to two important groups have been established at national level:
Several relations have been established at international level: · Current collaboration with Cornell University Computing and Information Science on Fedora “Repository Architecture Built with XML and Web Services”. Fedora representatives spent a week in Denmark in August to take part in DEF workshop and seminar
The six development projects are:
Most of the projects are about to be completed or will be at the beginning of 2005.
25DEF is a collaborative organisation which develops information supply to (and from) Danish research and education.
In DEF terms, development means that information supply becomes digital and a close collaboration is established between those libraries that supply information.
The collaboration includes content in the shape of joint purchases of electronic databases and journals and cooperation on electronic publishing. The technical infrastructure for information supply is also developed, e.g. web services and access management. Finally the cooperation includes the end user’s use of the content through portals, e-learning and other user facilities.The overall objective is to contribute to an optimal handling of the libraries’ tasks and to develop an information supply ranking among the best in the world. In the view of DEF, this can only happen through cooperation. Cooperation in DEF offers a number of obvious advantages: