Archive for July, 2009

What is ESCAPE all about?

July 1, 2009

1. Demand of Academics concerning scientific and scholarly communication
Formal scientific/scholarly communication is mostly limited to referencing/citing other publications.
There is a lack of facilities for informal/dynamic communication among the scientists, but also a broader audience. Scientists/scholars want to be able to:

  • relate relevant objects (documents, persons, institutions, project and so on) on the basis of content and describe/annotate these relationships
  • communicate and present these aggregated objects for various target groups, not only scientists and scholars, but also policy makers, journalists, businesses, and the general public
  • enhance this communication by commenting and tagging related objects

2. The facilitating of this demand
The ESCAPE project aims to develop a system in which a user can aggregate objects stored at any location and describe, comment, and tag the relations between these objects.
The system not only allows formal relations (like bibliographic metadata), but especially also ‘content relations’ concerning topics, reviews, comments, discussions, applications etc. The aggregations of objects are described by means of Resource Maps.

The user interface of the system will have the following functionalities:

  • Searching and viewing existing Resource Maps (available for the general public)
  • Making and editing new Resource Maps (available for the authorized creator/editor; for instance the head or the co-ordinator of a research programme)
  • Adding comments and tags to a particular Resource Map (available for authorized editors; for instance scientists and scholars participating in a research programme and invited scientists/scholars, professionals, policymakers etc. working in the same field)

To get an idea of that way Resource Maps may be presented,see this image.

Presentation of a Resource Map

Presentation of a Resource Map

3. The technical implementation of publication environments
Highlights:

  • Data model based on OAI-ORE (Open Archives Initiative on Object Re-use and Exchange)
  • Re-use of existing ontologies such as DCterms, FOAF, SWAN, and SWRC
  • Create new (re-usable) ontologies where necessary
  • PHP/Saxon/Apache based Web Application
  • All data stored in a Fedora 3.1 repository, using its RDF triple store support (Mulgara)
  • RDFS/OWL based type and property definitions
  • OAI-ORE Resource Maps are exposed through OAI-PMH (Protocol for Matadata Harvesting)