Carl Lagoze

Digital Library Scientist
MSE Wang Institute

Our group investigates the policies, organization, and architecture of distributed digital libraries. Our approach is component-based: we view the digital library infrastructure as a toolbox of distributed 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.

Our research program focuses on a number of the key issues that arise within such a distributed digital library infrastructure:

• a digital object architecture that supports new content types as they evolve.
• policies and enforcement mechanisms that facilitate the preservation and secure management of distributed content.
• standards and mechanisms for associating descriptive metadata with digital objects and services and for establishing relationships between descriptive vocabularies.
• architecture and services for interlinking amongst document references and citations.
• methods for extending digital libraries to personal mobile devices.

We work in close collaboration with other researchers in the Cornell, national and international library, computer science, and Internet communities. Our research model is highly applied: building systems and deploying them to collaborators. A prominent example of this model is 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, which uses the Dienst architecture that was invented at Cornell.

Professional Activities

Member: Dublin Core Metadata Initiative Advisory Council; NCSTRL Steering Committee; Information Technology Strategy for the Library of Congress Project; Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Research Council; D-lib Metrics Working Group; Steering Committee, Open Archives initiative. Program Committee Member: ACM Digital Libraries 2000; ECDL 2000.


Experience with the Dublin Core Metadata Set: Are Simplicity and Complexity Good Bedfellows?

USDA Metadata Workshop, Washington DC, November 1999.

The Open Archives Initiative. CNI Mid-Year, Phoenix AR, December 1999.

Architecture and Policies for Distributed Digital Libraries. Tsukuba, Japan, February 2000.

Organizing Anarchy. Electronic Commerce in the Information Industries, University of Illinois, March 2000.


“Metadata: Principles, Practices, and Challenges.” Moving Theory into Practice: Digital Imaging for Libraries and Archives, Association of Research Libraries (2000) (with S. Payette).

“The Cornell Digital Library Research Group: Architectures and Policies for Distributed Digital Libraries.” DLW17, Tsukuba, Japan (February 2000).

“The Santa Fe Convention of the Open Archives Initiative.” D-Lib Magazine, (February 2000) (with H. van de Sompel).