Search   |   Back Issues   |   Author Index   |   Title Index   |   Contents

Conference Report


D-Lib Magazine
November 2005

Volume 11 Number 11

ISSN 1082-9873

Report on the 9th European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries

September 18 - 23, 2005, Vienna, Austria


Dagobert Soergel
University of Maryland

Red Line


The 9th European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries was held in Vienna, Austria, 18-23 September 2005. It took place in the facilities of the Technical University of Vienna. A Min Tjoa, Vienna University of Technology, Austria, served as general chair, and Andreas Rauber, Vienna University of Technology, Austria, and Stavros Christodoulakis, Technical University of Crete, Greece, were program chairs.

"Power to the People"

In the first keynote talk Plenty of Room at the Bottom? Personal Digital Libraries and Collections, Neil Beagrie, British Library / Joint Information System Council (JISC) Partnership Manager, introduced a major theme: With today's technology, everybody can – and an increasing number do – create a large amount of digital content, including text, speech, music, images, and video, for personal use, for sharing in a small group, and for publication. "Generation C" is moving from mere consumption of digital content to personal content creation, customization, and co-production of such content. Students are creating e-portfolios, and academics are self-archiving and publishing both papers and primary data in creative commons. Blogs, email archives, and histories of users actions on their computers have been accumulating inexorably. People can record continuously much of what they see, hear, and say, making it possible to replay their lives. While the technologies for capturing and storing this content now exist and have been moving forward in leaps and bounds, consumer-turned-producer-friendly tools for editing, preserving, indexing, retrieving, and sharing this content need to be developed further. Examples of currently available services include Flickr, an online photo management and sharing application <>; Connotea, a free online reference management service for scientists <>; and, a social bookmarks manager <>. Some of these points are more fully elaborated by Beagrie in <doi:10.1045/june2005-beagrie>. (Another service of this type not mentioned by Beagrie is Garage Cinema Research <>.)

The second keynote talk set out a general framework for the conference with its emphasis on sharing and access. This keynote was by Erich Neuhold, University of Vienna, and was entitled, From Centralized Systems to Flexible Content and Service Federations: Promises & Challenges of Next Generation Digital Library Architectures. The talk focused on how the digital library (DL) has been transitioning from being an "integrated, centrally controlled system to a dynamic configurable federation of DL services and information collections." The reasons given for the transition include new technologies (Web services, the Grid, Peer-to-Peer networking, Service-oriented architectures, etc.), and the transition is also driven by the needs of what is called the 'DL market'. This DL market encompasses a dynamic set of content providers, with varying quality, formats, and access policies, as well as new types of content, such as blogs and primary scientific data. The following list (from one of the presentation slides) provides needs to be met through future research:

  • Infrastructures that can dynamically deal with new/old content services and content providers
  • Support for intelligent federated search
  • Flexible metadata brokering and metadata integration
  • Concentrated efforts in standardization (search interfaces, metadata)
  • Development of ontologies that ease mediation

Two current projects that were given as examples of research along these lines are:

  • BRICKS - Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Digital Library Infrastructure, and
  • DILIGENT - Grid based Virtual Digital Libraries

The talk also discussed the pros and cons of the Grid and Peer-to-Peer architectures and illustrated appropriate uses of each through the two examples. (Panel 1, Digital Libraries over the GRID: Heaven or Hell, also dealt with the topic of Grids.)

Several other ECDL 2005 contributions related to the theme of giving people tools – for their roles as content providers and as users – that make organizing and retrieving materials as effortless as possible. In her poster Generating and Evaluating Metadata for Educational Resources, Elizabeth Liddy and her co-authors discussed use of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) methods to save human cataloging effort. In the doctoral forum, Stefania Ghita, Using Your Desktop as Personal Digital Library, proposed collecting metadata in the background from different contexts and activities performed on a computer (email, folder hierarchies and browser caches, etc.). Similarly, in their conference paper, Seonho Kim et al., Effectiveness of Implicit Rating Data on Characterizing Users in Complex Information Systems, discussed background collection of user interests that simplify query formulation. Two papers and one of the posters presented tools for managing personal collections; these included the papers by Lance E. Good et al., Fluid Interface for Personal Digital Libraries and Imene Jaballah et al., Managing personal documents with a digital library, and the poster by Daniella Petrelli, et al., Retrieving Amateur Video from a Small Collection. Tools to aid reading are also relevant here and were topics of a paper by William C. Janssen, A Widget for Reading, and a poster, by Yixing Sun et al., Aiding Comprehension in Electronic Books Using Contextual Information. Another paper, DL meets P2P - Distributed Document Retrieval based on Classification and Content by Wolf-Tilo Balke et al., discussed retrieval issues in a peer-to-peer network from a content perspective. A lot of the new digital content in DLs will be in speech (often as part of video), so speech retrieval will become increasingly important. There was just one poster on this topic in the main program; it was by Atsuhiro Takasu et al., entitled, An Effective Access Mechanism to Digital Interview Archives, but speech retrieval was covered in the Cross Language Evaluation (CLEF) Workshop (see below), which included papers from the new Cross-Language Speech Retrieval Track. Lastly, the increasingly important topic of music retrieval was addressed in the paper by Giovanna Neve et al., A Comparison of Melodic Segmentation Techniques for Music Information Retrieval.

The total picture of conference content

Of course, the entire spectrum of important issues that one would expect to be addressed at such a major digital library conference was well represented in the program, including:

  • User studies and application areas, such as e-learning
  • Digital library architecture and the building of digital libraries
  • Issues of information organization and retrieval, including: Metadata; XML (important for both document structure and metadata); classification of and searching for text; and hypermedia
  • Content assimilation assistance
  • Collaboration and sharing
  • Digital preservation (without which all else will be for naught)

The award for the best paper presented by a young author went to Christos Tryfonopoulos, for his paper LibraRing: An Architecture for Distributed Digital Libraries Based on DHTs.

Other conference offerings

ECDL 2005 started with six tutorials on Sunday, 18 September, covering general concepts and formal frameworks for digital libraries, context-enhanced digital library services, thesauri and ontologies in digital libraries, building digital library collections with Greenstone, and DL interoperability standards. The tutorials were followed by two and a half days of keynotes, contributed papers, and panels. The conference concluded with four workshops:

  1. The 6th CLEF (Cross-Language Evaluation Forum) workshop, which drew more than 100 participants during its two and a half days of presentations and evaluation sessions;
  2. The two-day Workshop on Web Archiving and Digital Preservation, which had about 60 participants, showing high interest in this important issue;
  3. The one-day NKOS (Networked Knowledge Organization Systems) Workshop, with the theme Mapping Knowledge Organization Systems; and
  4. The one-day HDL Workshop, Healthcare in Digital Libraries.

(Reports of three of these workshops appear in of D-Lib Magazine.)

In parallel with the main program, ECDL featured a Doctoral Forum, organized by José Borbinha. Doctoral students reported on their ongoing dissertation work and received comments on their presentations from many academics from around the world. There were 15 students who presented papers, and 14 faculty members participated in the Doctoral Forum. Among the dissertation titles were the following:

  • User Needs and Strategies in Structured Information Retrieval
  • Trust-Based Recommendations for Publications - A Multi-Layer Network Approach
  • Automatic Evaluation of Migration Quality in Distributed Networks of Converters (dealing with migration from one format to another, also important for preservation)
  • What did the Others Say? Probabilistic Indexing and Retrieval Models in Annotation-based Discussions

Conference statistics

The acceptance rate for papers submitted to ECDL 2005 was 32%. The origin of papers and posters can be seen in the table below.

Table 1: Origin of papers and posters
  Papers Posters
Total 41 30
Europe 25 19
U.S. 11 6
Asia 5 5
South America 2 1
From multiple institutions 14 9
Of these, across countries
(Mostly across continents)
6 5

The conference and related activities drew approximately 400 participants.

Links to further ECDL 2005 information

The ECDL2005 proceedings have been published in the Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science under the title Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries (LNCS 3652, ISBN 3-540-28767-1). The Proceedings was edited by Andreas Rauber, Stavros Christodoulakis, and A Min Tjoa.

The main conference site, <> is still active with the program, abstracts for tutorials, workshops, keynotes, and panels, and lots of photographs.

The doctoral forum proposals can be found temporarily at <>, and are scheduled for publication in an upcoming issue of the IEEE-TCDL Bulletin <>.

Information about CLEF can be found at <>. The working notes of CLEF 2005 are at <>, and the information on the CLSR (Cross-Language Speech Retrieval) is at <>.

The NKOS program and some presentations can be found at <>. The NKOS main Web site is <>. Some of the NKOS Workshop presentations may be published in a Special Issue of the New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia on Knowledge Organization Systems and Services.


Copyright © 2005 Dagobert Soergel

Top | Contents
Search | Author Index | Title Index | Back Issues
Previous Report | Next Report
Home | E-mail the Editor


D-Lib Magazine Access Terms and Conditions