First International Workshop on Quality Control in Digital Libraries (QCDL'06)

27-28 April 2006, Udine, Italy

Overview and aims

The Web is changing culture and information dissemination. The workshop aim is to study methods and tools to cope with the quality control in this quickly changing scenario, from different perspectives.

Quality control has always been and still is a crucial issue in scholarly communication. Quality control is needed to select only the research results deserving publication and dissemination. Peer review is the most used approach, but the Web has fostered supplementary and/or alternative proposals, ranging from substituting peer review by readers judgments to open access (access to scholarly articles should be free) and including several standards and software tools (OAI, ePrints, etc.)

The increasing amount of available information is creating a similar scenario in the digital library field. Librarians filter and select, taking into account also the quality, the material to be included in the archives of standard libraries. For several reasons, this is much less true for the digital libraries: storing the digital version of a text is much cheaper than its paper version; sharing of digital information is easier; and human librarians are not able to cope with the steadily increasing amount of information.

Other fields can be affected as well: newspapers and newswire agency suffer the concurrence of Blogs; Wikis seem a possible alternative to encyclopedias; teaching material is often disseminated online, often without quality assurance.

It is easy to foresee that, in the next years, similar phenomena might manifest for digital content concerning cultural heritage in general. Cultural heritage digitalization is taking place at a very fast pace, and the situation seems similar to digital libraries. Classical "physical" museums, art and history exhibitions, and archaeological sites have the quality of items shown certified by people. Usually, the collection of a museum is much larger than the set of items shown to the public. This is essentially due to the fact that the space of the exhibition is expensive and limited, but there are also reasons concerning the amount of time that a visitor can spend in a museum. Again, virtual cultural heritage features an information explosion which is likely to lead to Web sites for museums and exhibitions making available the full collection and hence mixing high and low quality items.

In general, we intend to discuss what we believe is and will be a very hot topic: quality control and assurance for culture and information dissemination.

Some of these aspects are of particular importance for emerging countries, under two viewpoints. From an economical point of view, the access to virtual information can be much cheaper (open access, virtual museums, teaching materials, etc.). From a cultural point of view, the discovery of cultural heritage of emerging countries is growing at a fast pace, both for documents and artifacts, and it digitalization can be very important.


To discuss these and related issues, we are asking well known researchers to give an invited talk during the workshop.

We will welcome papers, position papers, panel proposals. We do not aim at a standard presentation-based meeting; rather, we will keep the number of participants low to foster discussion and interaction.

After the workshop, depending on workshop outcome, we will consider the publication of a journal special issue or book.


Topics to be discussed include but are not limited to:

  • Cultural information access
  • Digital libraries
  • Scholarly communication
    • E-prints, archives
    • Open access
    • Peer review and quality control
    • Standards
    • Software tools
  • Cultural heritage
    • Museums
    • Historical and artistic exhibitions
    • Archaeological sites
  • Quality control
  • Information quality
    • Trust & reputation
    • Quality assurance
  • Digital preservation
  • Legal issues
  • Teaching material

Organizing committee

General Co-Chairs:

  • Paolo Coppola
  • Stefano Mizzaro
  • Dipartimento di Matematica e Informatica - Università degli Studi di Udine
  • Saratchandra Babu (CDAC, Hyderabad)
  • K.V.K. Prasad (B.M. Birla Science Centre, Hyderabad)

The venue

Udine is located in North-eastern Italy, in the center of the Friuli Region. Historically, Udine was part of the Venice Republic, and the influence of Venetian architecture is clearly seen today on some of its most beautiful buildings.

Udine is very close (and conveniently connected) to interesting tourist locations such as Venice (and Venice airport), Aquileia, Cividale, Grado, Trieste (and Trieste airport) and the Alps. It is also close to the borders of Austria and Slovenia. The Friuli Region is also known for some of the best Italian wines.

Workshop Program

Thursday April 27 - aula multimediale Dipartimento di Matematica e Informatica

11.00 - 13.00 S. R. C. Prasad Challapalli, Paolo Coppola and Stefano Mizzaro
Title: ICT for EU-India Cross-Cultural Dissemination Workgroup 6 - Final meeting aula 14 palazzo Antonini

14.00 - 16.00 Paolo Pacciolla
Title: Il tamburo solista. La tradizione percussiva del Mrdang-Pakhawaj

16.15 - 17.00 Saratchandra Babu
Title: Digital libraries

17.15 - 18.00 K.V.K. Prasad
Title: Quality in digitization process

Friday April 28 -

10:00 - 10:15 Workshop Address: Furio Honsell

10:15 - 10:45 Reme Melero
Title: Open Access Spanish landscape and the case of a pilot project with authors
Abstract: Open access in Spain is still an emerging movement, but it has advanced in the past three or four years with more frequent initiatives related to repositories and open/free journals. The 154
registered signatories of the Berlin Declaration include five Spanish universities or research institutions, which is not a big rate, but awareness of institutional commitment to open access is increasing sharply. ROAR and DOAR have in their records 13 and 5 open access repositories which represent only a 1.4% and 2% of the whole IRs registered in those directories. Most current repositories started as repositories for theses but some of them have evolved to institutional repositories for the archiving of preprints, post- prints, conference proceedings, and other research documents published by their own staff. Those and other projects will be described together with preliminary results obtained from a pilot project to create a subject institutional repository, whose first step was a survey among food science researchers to search habits and attitudes towards open access to scholarly publications.

10:45 - 11:15 S. R. C. Prasad Challapalli, Paolo Coppola, Stefano Mizzaro and Michele Zennaro
Title: A mechanism for quality control applied to the EU-India digital platform
Abstract: In scholarly communication, the traditional quality control mechanism is peer review. Nowadays, it is often not used (e.g., in online repositories of preprints, and by people publishing whatever
they want on their Web pages). We describe a new quality control mechanism, in which the standard submission-review-publication process is replaced by a more sophisticated approach, based on judgments expressed by the readers: each reader is, potentially, a peer reviewer. Each reader's judgment is weighted on the basis of the reader's skills as a reviewer, and that readers are encouraged to express correct judgments by a feedback mechanism that estimates their own quality. The new quality control mechanism is described in an intuitive way, and its application to the EU-India platform is briefly discussed.

11:15 - 11:30 Coffee break

11:30 - 12:00 Maristella Agosti
Title: Scientific Evaluation of Digital Library Management Systems: general issues and outcomes on information access components
Abstract: The presentation addresses current evaluation methodologies adopted for assessing the performances of the information access and extraction components of a Digital Library Management System (DLMS).
Attention is given to investigate whether these methodologies comply with the requirements of information enrichment involved by the scientific development of a DLMS. A focus is on the revision of the current evaluation methodologies in order to fit to a new way of thinking about the development of a DLMS.

12:00 - 12:30 Paolo Massa
Title: Trust and reputation for inferring quality of resources.
Abstract:I start this talk by highlighting how recommender systems can be used in the context of digital libraries in order to suggest to users resources they might find interesting and useful. A very recent trend is to exploit information of explicit trust between users by means of trust metrics. The goal is to derive an authority/reputation score for other unknown users and to use this score to give different visibility/importance to the content created by different users.
However the concepts of authority and reputation starts to trigger questions such as "Who can define what is the correct view on a certain fact? What are experts? " and "Is it possible to accommodate different views of the same facts hold by different people? And is it worth doing it? What are the consequences?". Empirical evidence derived from a real, large online community will be presented during the talk supporting claims and motivations.

12:30 - 14:15 Lunch

14:15 - 14:45 Paolo Missier
Title: Quality views: capturing and exploiting the user perspective on data quality
Abstract: There is a growing awareness among life scientists of the variability in quality of the data in both public and private repositories, and of the threat that inconsistencies, inaccuracies and omissions pose to the validity of the experimental results.
Currently, however, the data processing environments commonly used by life scientists lack facilities for expressing and applying quality-based data acceptability criteria. Such facilities should enable users to implement those criteria with minimum additional effort, in a cost-effective way.
In this talk, I will describe a service-based architectural framework that allows users to create high-level specifications of their quality processing requirements (called "quality views"). These specifications are compiled into a configuration of quality-aware web services that can then be semi-automatically embedded within the data processing environment. The result is a quality management toolkit that promotes rapid implementation of new quality components, and eases the reuse of existing ones. I will illustrate the utility of the framework by showing how it can be deployed within Taverna, a scientific workflow management tool, and applied to a real workflow for data analysis in proteomics.

14:45 - 15:15 Vincenzo Della Mea
Title: Open access in biomedical publishing: from initial failures to current successes
Abstract: Since many years, in scholarly biomedical publishing great value is given to performance measures like impact factor and derivates. The journal where to publish a paper is chosen having in mind its impact factor and the perceived value of the paper itself. From one side, this is good because it reveals an attitude towards quality control.
However, it also makes the journal market conservative, because new journals do not have an impact factor in the very first years of life so they are rarely chosen as publication means; furthermore, obtaining an impact factor is often not easy.
Before starting to reason about open access, the biomedical field had a short and unfortunate season of interest for preprints. Then, open access has been brought to the public thanks to a couple of prestigious initiatives, including PubMedCentral and BMJ move to open access, recently and partially stopped. Due to market conservativeness, small journals are still having hard time. An additional factor entered into discussion was the ethical matter, i.e., the availability of scientific results to developing countries unable to pay subscription fees. Now a couple of publishers are available that only provide support for open access journals, some of which also able to gain good impact factors.
The present talk will deal with the history of open access in medicine, with attention to the quality attitudes mentioned before.

15:15 - 15:45 Carlo Tasso
Title: Intelligent Digital Platforms for the semantic Web: New Technologies for Accessing and Filtering Information and Knowledge
Abstract: TBA

15:45 - 16:00 Workshop close