Contexts and Contributions: Building the Distributed Library
This report updates and expands on "A Survey of Digital Library Aggregation Services," originally commissioned by the DLF as an internal report in summer 2003, and released to the public later that year. It highlights major developments affecting the ecosystem of scholarly communications and digital libraries since the last survey and provides an analysis of "OAI implementation demographics," based on a comparative review of repository registries and cross-archive search services. Secondly, it reviews the state-of-practice for a cohort of digital library aggregation services, grouping them in the context of the "problem space" to which they most closely adhere. Based in part on responses collected in fall 2005 from an online survey distributed to the original core services, the report investigates the purpose, function and challenges of next-generation aggregation services. On a case-by-case basis, the advances in each service are of interest in isolation from each other, but the report also attempts to situate these services in a larger context and to understand how they fit into a multi-dimensional and interdependent ecosystem supporting the worldwide community of scholars. Finally, the report summarizes the contributions of these services thus far and identifies obstacles requiring further attention to realize the goal of an open, distributed digital library system.