History and mission of E-LIS
Antonella De Robbio
Padua University - Italy
Last modified: October 16, 2005
Established in 2003, E-LIS (eprints.rclis.org) is an international Open Archive for Library and Information Science. It is freely accessible, aligned with Open Access movement and is a voluntary world wide enterprise. E-LIS contains over 2.700 documents and is the largest eprint archive in LIS. This presentation discusses the origins, history, the technical properties of the E-LIS system and organization of work in a world qwide dimension which is the factors we believe make E-LIS a success. All participants are volunteers who are motivated by sophisticated incentives, which include a system of national editors, the distribution of tasks within a small core team in addition to our experience with publishing procedures. E-LIS employs the JITA Classification Schema on two levels.
It uses GNU Eprints software and is compatible with the OAI standards framework. The user may search and access full-text documents. Traditional LIS topics and all the disciplines relating to information science are covered. It employs the JITA Classification Schema at two levels. Any LIS scientific or technical finished document, published or unpublished, is accepted. It may be used by LIS communities in every country. Works can be deposited in any language and format; authors can self-archive; a proxy service supports depositors. Metadata are set for each one of 23 document types and are checked in accordance with editorial guidelines by an international editorial committee. Its copyright metadata policy is cited by the Romeo project. Submission policy is open to proposals from new partners and there are agreements with institutions and library associations of various countries. E-LIS is divided into three sections: editorial, technical and administrative. The editorial section is devoted to metadata quality and guidelines. The technical section concentrates on software – its implementation, enhancement and develoment and added value functionality and operates inside the OAI framework. The Administrative section deals with strategic issues including the future direction of the initiative, its policies and their impact on the user community and its connection with other scientific communities.
Among the added-value features are Para Tools for reference linking (which also provides a ‘seek’ button that parses the citation and tries to find something in the archive or on the internet), automatic alerting for editors, full metadata display of metadata records, full-text search, browsing by user, counter in homepage and webalizer for statistics.
Since last August we have implemented a new graphical look, with RSS feeds for new deposits and a completly new interface and layout more effective.
The evolving academic discourse surrounding the concept of Open Access (OA) provided the underlying motivation for the establishment of E-LIS. The library and information world is highly integrated with the areas of computing science and technology and it was felt that the LIS discipline should set an example to other communities by providing a state-of-the-art model for the OA movement and digital libraries, particularly in relation to the open archive model, within which E-LIS is a disciplinary repository. The extension of the OA concept to LIS works and the dissemination of material within the LIS community will contribute to the development of an international LIS network; E-LIS is mutually beneficial.