Universal Preprint Service BOF at ECDL'99

Thomas Krichel, Michael L. Nelson and Herbert Van de Sompel

16 September 1999

Open to anyone interested in self-archiving of scientific and technical information (STI) publications. We will discuss one particular initiative, the Universal Preprint Service (UPS), and the supporting technologies and concepts.

Universal Preprint Service

UPS will demonstrate a multi-disciplinary digital library that will draw metadata from a number of existing "e-print" digital libraries. The purpose of constructing UPS is to demonstrate the unification of multiple disciplines in a single DL setting (without impacting the existing discipline-specific DLs), and to showcase a method of attaching value-added services to STI objects. UPS will combine holdings from the arXiv.org pre-print server, the CogPrints archive, the NASA preprint servers, the NCSTRL Computer Science tech-report collection, the RePEc Economics dataset, the Computer Science technical reports from www.ncstrl.org and theses and dissertations from www.theses.org.

Addition reading: http://vole.lanl.gov/ups/ups.htm


Objects in UPS will be stored as buckets, stand-alone web objects tailored for DL applications. Buckets are archive-neutral and are accessed via messages to the Bucket API. Buckets imbue DL objects with two properties: aggregation and intelligence. Their aggregative properties allow SFX links to be easily added.

Addition reading: http://www.dlib.org/dlib/march99/maly/03maly.html


The SFX Extended Services for STI objects provides a layer of indirection for the computation of reference linking services for STI objects. Instead of hardcoding specific services into the bucket, metadata is transferred to the SFX server which employs heuristics to compute value added services for that object.

Addition reading: http://lib-www.lanl.gov/~hvds/sfx/htmls/sfx-home.html


ReDIF is a flexible relational metadata format for the representing the work of academic disciplines. It was originally conceived for the RePEc dataset that describes many aspects of Economics. It is used in the UPS proto prototype work as a common form for the metadata from the various preprint initiatives.

Addition reading: http://openlib.org/acmes/root/docu/redif_1.html

Santa Fe agreement

The Santa Fe agreement aims to find a agreed framework for the access to metadata of self-archiving services. It is hoped that such an agreement will make the data widely available for the Digital Library research community. A public working draft will be made available later.

Addition reading: http://openlib.org/santa_fe


Before attending the BOF we invite you to think about the following question:

Suppose you were to open a new STI publication archive system from scratch. What would you think are the important requirements for such a system?
We would like to gather your ideas at the BOF.