1998 - 1999 CS Annual Report                                                        Researchers
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Carl Lagoze

Digital Library Scientist

MSE Wang Institute

My research group investigates infrastructure for distributed
digital libraries. Our approach is component-based: we view
the digital library infrastructure as a toolbox of service
components (repository services, index services, etc), which
can be combined (or federated) into digital libraries. This
component-based infrastructure is inherently extensible and
flexible: components can be evolved independently, new
component services can be introduced into the infrastructure, and federations of services can be created and configured according to individual requirements. 

This research builds on our design and implementation of Dienst, a protocol and reference implementation for distributed document libraries. Dienst is the technical foundation of the NCSTRL, the Networked Computer Science Technical Research Library, which is administered by our group. NCSTRL is a distributed digital library of computer science research reports from over 100 institutions worldwide. 

Currently our infrastructure research is focusing on three areas: 

  1. We are investigating an architecture, FEDORA, that specifies how content is stored in digital
    libraries. FEDORA uses a generic abstraction, a digital object, for encapsulating diverse content, making it available in various forms, and providing access control to protect intellectual property. 
  2. We are studying how to describe and administer collections in digital libraries configured as distributed systems. We view a collection service as an entity that stores and provides metadata about a set of digital objects that conform to a collection criterion.
  3. We are investigating techniques to improve distributed searching. In particular, we are interested in how to route queries to replicated and disjoint index servers using metadata provided by those servers. 
  4. We are investigating and developing metadata standards for research discovery, administration, and preservation of digital content and services. 

Professional Activities  

  • Dublin Core Technical Advisory Board 
  • Chair: NCSTRL Working Group  
  • Member: Information Technology Strategy for the Library of Congress Project, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Research Council; D-lib Metrics
    Working Group 
  • A Canadian metadata roadshow. Canadian Library Association, Fredericton, N.B., May 1999.  
  • . Canadian Library Association, Toronto, Ontario, May 1999. 
  • . Canadian Library Association, Edmonton, Alberta, May 1999. 
  • Metadata for digital libraries. CIMI Workshop, Ottawa, Canada, May 1999. 
  • Digital libraries for scholarly research: NCSTRL and Dienst. Univ. of Southampton Guest Lecture, Southampton U.K, Feb. 1999. 
  • Rapid dissemination of research results: The NCSTRL experience .Metadata: Interoperability and Heterogeneity, IuK Commission of the Learned Societies in Germany, Bonn, Germany, Dec. 1998. 
  • Metadata challenges for libraries. Metadiversity 1998, Natural Bridge, Virginia, Nov 1998. 
  • Metadata for networked objects. Second European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries, Heraklion, Crete, Sept. 1998. 


  • NCSTRL: Design and deployment of a globally distributed digital library. To appear in Journal of the American Society for Information Science (JASIS) (1999) (with J. R. Davis). 
  • Flexible and extensible digital object and repository architecture (FEDORA). Second European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries, Heraklion, Crete, 1998 (with S. Payette).  
  • Interoperability for Digital Objects and Repositories: The Cornell/CNRI Experiments.
    D-Lib Magazine 5
    (May 1999) (with S. Payette, C. Blanchi, and E. Overly).  
  • Defining collections in distributed digital libraries. D-Lib Magazine 4 (Nov 1998) (with D. Fielding).