GRL2020 Europe, 2008


GRL2020 Europe

27 - 28 March 2008, Tirrenia, Italy

Download the GRL2020 Europe Post-event Report 

The second GRL2020 workshop was held in Tirrenia, Pisa, Italy, 27-28 March, explored global opportunities for co-operation partnerships to pave the way towards a concrete roadmap for implementing this vision. The event, which was co-hosted by Microsoft Corporation and the Institute of Information Science and echnologies at the Italian National Research Council (CNR-ISTI), brought together 45 highly regarded experts in the field of Digital Libraries and related areas. These experts brought valuable insight to the issues facing Digital Libraries in a series of position papers published prior to the event. They underscored the need for setting up initiatives aimed at increasing user-focus and open access, as well as ways how to improve interoperability between Digital Libraries with the aim of fostering effective global usage of data that generates knowledge beneficial to the worldwide community. The establishment of a global information sharing infrastructure was also identified by participants as an effective way for Digital Libraries to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of research processes.

Important perspectives were offered from international policy bodies. Carlos Morais Pires, representing the European Commission, described the paradigm shift toward the creation of a truly global community as an opportunity for the Digital Library Community and one that the European Commission are keen to be involved in. Lucy Nowell from the National Science Foundation (NSF), US, highlighted DataNet Partners, a national and global digital data framework for preservation and access of digital information, jointly funded by the Office of CyberInfrastructure (OCI) and the NSF Computer and Information Science and Engineering directorate (CISE).
Valuable insights into requirements in various domains were offered by a number of speakers. Thomas Garnet, Smithsonian Institute, gave a keynote speech in which he described the data intensive nature of digital libraries in the Biodiversity Research Community. He cited a number of use cases that point to the direction in which research libraries should move to enable a    site of Digital library services to support complex research systems such as climate change. Further insights were given into the High Energy Physics community, the Earth System Science community, and the Large International Organization community, like the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). This was coupled with the vision of the Scholarly publishing publishing community and an insight into how to tackle issues of inequality between developed and developing countries.
A detailed presentation into ownership, cost and interoperability issues was given by Malcolm Read, Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), UK, highlighting the JISC Repositories programme which aims to improve the long term availability and access to digital content through a network of repositories providing teachers, learners and researchers with the capability to use and share content.
The latter part of the workshop was dedicated to pinpointing a series of grand challenges and evaluating the strategies that need to be put in place in order to build a vision appropriate for 2020. Three expert groups addressed specific challenges and solutions regarding Technology, Organisation and User perspectives. Valuable discussion during the event focused on a need to ensure that the vast quantities of digital data being produced is a real source of knowledge for the research community and that it bridges research, education and innovation to tackle challenges that are of global relevance. Ultimately, this will create a community that takes a collaborative and global approach and that integrates multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-cultural perspectives.