WP1 Process and social-economic analysis

The overall objectives are to study the current scientific publication process, its shortcomings and the opportunities offered by the evolution of the Internet, and to propose and implement an alternative process which would be significantly more cost effective than the current one. The proposed alternative process will provide the basis for the test implementations done in the other work packages. The work will take a life-cycle viewpoint on scientific publications, thus starting from the research itself, and including the writing of papers, printing and distribution, but also archiving and retrieval by end users. The modelling of both the current process (as is) and the alternate process (to be) will be done using formal process modelling tools. A study will also be made of the psychological, economic and legal barriers to changing the processes.

WP2 Repository content

Web services of this nature are often trapped in a vicious circle. If a repository is empty, people are not motivated to enter their own data into the repository, therefore, the repository remains empty. The objective of this workpackage is to cut this vicious circle by providing an initial set of content that would establish the resource as a relevant one. Then the snowball effect would take care of scientists being personally interested in entering their work by themselves and would do so.

Smart acquisition techniques will be developed, so that manual work in the entering of the initial fund of papers would be minimised.

WP3 Repository core

The objective of this WP is to develop the core functionality of the repository system in a first prototype and a later professional version. It should be able to accept, store, search and deliver scientific papers (as many existing systems today do) but it should also be extendable to support the advanced features planned in WP 4 and 5. Therefore the architecture of the whole system is designed here as well as the core data structures exchange formats.

It will be based on the requirements defined in WP1 and will build the basis for the integrated self-managed autonomous knowledge repository system. The software for the core system will be deployed, installed at the user sites and tested.

WP4 Intelligent maintenance and use

The goal of the WP is to provide smart user interfaces (search browse, interact with users) and tools that will assist in the maintenance of the repository. A goal is also to provide an estimate how much effort it takes to manage such a repository manually (as a part of the study in WP1).

Functionality will be implemented through community-oriented components and tools. These include a user-profiling system that will allow sharing of knowledge discovery process to other users, community building service, tools to build and maintain special interests groups etc. Special focus will be given to real-time interactions between groups of user with identified common interests (tracing user paths on invitations, public discussions, etc).

The repository, that will be created during this project, should be almost self sustained after the end of the project. Then it would be managed on a voluntary basis in the same way as scientists, for free, manage commercial paper based journals today. This workpackage would create the technologies that would minimise that effort and manage the repository in effect self-organising.

The system would let the scientists around the world to add papers to the repository. The paper would then be checked, if it is appropriate for the repository, if the structure and formatting guidelines are obeyed. It would then be passed on to a an editorial agent that would look at the contents of the paper, extract keywords and classify the paper according to the repository's classification system and also assign the paper to the correct cluster. Notifications would be sent to the appropriate human editors, who work on the subject, so that they could verify or revoke any decisions made by the agent. After this clearance by the human editor, the paper would be fully available in the repository.

The scientific output measured in pages of papers, reports and PhD theses is growing exponentially. It is getting increasingly difficult for scientists to follow all new developments. The just-in-case browsing through journals, just to keep in touch with the subject, is a luxury, which our pre-study showed, can be afforded by fewer and fewer members of the community. An alternative are searches through specialised (COMPENDEX, ICONDA) databases or on the Internet, which are performed on the just-in-time basis. Using the first, the scientist is still far away from the full text of the publication. Generally, just-in-time searchers do not broaden ones horizons - one only finds what he searched for. In this workpackage technologies would be developed that are between the just-in-case and just-in-time access methods. User's preferences would be either explicitly specified or machine-learned from her interaction with the system. Then this information would be used to bias search results during interactive use or push new items or information about peers with similar interests to the user by email. Solutions would be created that measure readership of publications and that would cluster readers accordingly. In this way a user would also benefit by the system that will be learning from the whole group, not just from individuals. A sense of artificial community would be created.

WP5 Value adding wrapper service

The overall objectives are to study and demonstrate new and modified business models in the value chain of electronic scientific publishing that provide added value to customers. More specifically business models that aim to provide a) researchers and scientists and b) industry practitioners with view(s) on to the scientific repository that is properly translated, edited and structured to be of added value to target audience groups by bringing together the capabilities of innovative information technology and human expertise and creativity. This will include a study of; what the new business models may look like, who the business actors are, range of infomediaries possible, mediation and exploitation mechanisms and where they may position themselves in the value chain. The work packet will also provide the infrastructure, data models and tools to support creation, maintenance and interoperability of wrapper services. The work draws from previous work-packets for development of an interoperability platform for integration of value added wrapper services.

Moreover this workpackage will aim to provide:

1) An infrastructure for integrating value adding services to manage (high level) access to knowledge management functionality of the repository core API, support for mediation mechanisms including user support and alternative navigational paths through the repository such as industry specific classifications.

2) The basic data models and functionality to support implementation as described above that includes the support for the needed human expertise and intervention in editing, structuring, formatting and managing material at the service level for instance on-line editing, reviewing, grouping etc.

3) Demonstrate and validate by prototyping an wrapper service as an add-on to the repository and an on-line training tool as an independent commercial service.

4) Implement an on-line service that will be reusing or wrapping content from the core repository in such a way, that it will be suitable and appealing for the professional's -engineers and architects.

WP6 Dissemination and implementation

The opbjectives of this WP are to ensure that (1) the project findings are reported to the scientific community, (2) that the services on the Web are used, become popular and remain active after the end of the project and (3) to generate new business opportunities for partners using the technologies developed in this project.

WP7 Assessment and evaluation

The objective of this workpackage is to implement internal control of the relevance and quality of the work as well as the fit of the individual components into one coherent whole. The worpackage is also encouraging the links between the process re-engineering workpackages and the technical workpakages and their interdependencies. Assessment and evaluation work is carried out by the partner whose involvement in the tasks being evaluated is minimal.

WP8 Project management

Project management refers to the process of planning, organising, directing and controlling the integrated effort to efficiently achieve the technical objectives within the constraints of time schedule and budget. The project will be carried out on a concurrent engineering working, which needs to install and maintain appropriate IT infrastructure. The objectives are to:

1. Ensure that the project achieves the scheduled plan.
2. Co-ordination actions among the partners and the EC.
3. Accounting support for the project and payment distribution.

Updated on February 5, 2003
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